By John A. Huffman, Jr.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"
All this evening, we have been lighting various Advent candles. One of them stands for the Wise Men.
I have a Christmas Eve question for you. Do you know what would have happened if it had been Wise Women instead of Wise Men?
1. They would have asked directions.
2. They would have arrived on time.
3. They would have delivered the baby.
4. They would have cleaned the stable.
5. They would have made a casserole.
6. They would have brought practical gifts.
Let's talk for a moment about practical gifts.
I've been fascinated by the "extreme-makeover" approaches we are seeing on TV. You've seen them, haven't you?
One morning, on the Today Show, they took a somewhat ordinary-looking woman, sent her off to another room and, later, on that same three-hour show, brought her back with a whole new look: hairdo, makeup, clothes and accessories.
One day, on the Jane Pauley Show, they had an Afro-American couple who had been married some thirty years. I guess this caught my attention because he was a pastor and she the pastor's wife. They surprised this couple by completely redoing their bedroom. To top it off, they sent them off on a second honeymoon to Hawaii.
The December 20, 2004 issue of TIME has an article describing one of the top ten television shows, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It told the story of Alice Harris of South Central Los Angeles, who remembers the day the good people from ABC volunteered to demolish her house. In 2003, a flood had left the community activist and her family, who had no insurance, living in one bedroom. Worst of all, the waters had ruined a stash of Christmas toys Harris had collected for poor kids. Harris said, "I figured no one was going to come to Watts and help us. No one had ever done that." But Extreme Makeover: Home Edition found her. It's bullhorn-wielding host, Ty Pennington, shipped Harris and her family off for a week's vacation in Carlsbad, California. A hundred workers and neighbors tore her home down to the foundation and built a new, bigger one. They replaced the Christmas toys and donated appliances, mattresses and landscaping to her flood-stricken neighbors. They even threw in a basketball court for the neighborhood kids.
That's an extreme makeover, isn't it!
All three of these extreme makeovers have something in common. What is it? An outsider comes in with a one-two-three program.