To call people skeptical today is putting it rather mildly. We live in a tangible world where people claim to only believe what they can see and what they can put their hands on. We all think we are intelligent and trust that science will show us the way. But hold on. I am actually only describing a small portion of our society. Most people actually believe there is more than what they see.
Just consider some of the more popular shows on television that deal with ghosts, mediums and other spiritual matters. Why are these shows so popular? Because people want to believe in more than the physical world. There is part of us that we know is missing, that is not being fed, that we are not dealing with, and so we search.
There is always going to be part of us that struggles with believing what we cannot see or making assumptions about what we do see. There is so much about Jesus that people can not get past because of the skepticism that is so prevalent in us. We would rather believe in evil demons, vampires and werewolves then in a God of grace who wants to transform us into what he always intended us to be. People dismiss the Christmas story because of something as simple as this:
Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Only, this isn't found in the gospels but in the old prophecies. But people scoff at the idea of the virgin birth. They scoff at the baby in the manger. They scoff at the cross, the empty grave and the giving of the Holy Spirit. But behind their scoffing I think there is a bit of fear that they could be wrong. So they fight harder against it, attacking it and putting down the people who do believe, just to encourage themselves. Why is it so hard to believe in a Father, Creator, who loved us enough to go through all this trouble to rescue us from ourselves?
I actually don't think it is hard for them to believe as much as it is a desire to keep their independence. That is what the whole rebellion is about; us wanting to be our own gods. We want to be the master of our own destinies. We want to write our own stories. We want to call the shots. But that's because we don't know that we are already slaves. We think we are calling the shots but we are actually trapped by our sinful nature which never allows us to live up to our full potential. We can't live up to that potential except through the one who came to set us free.
So yes, it is getting harder to convince people to consider the goodness of God when they don't consider God to have any relevancy any more in our society. We will accept all other forms of spirituality but not that of a Creator who tells us we have to do it his way in order to have life in its fullest. People will accept the "magic" of Christmas but they will not bring themselves to actually believe in the one who we celebrate. Me thinks the end is approaching as hearts are hardened, eyes grow blind and ears are plugged. These are the things we were told to watch for, that would be obvious to those who choose to believe but hidden from this who choose themselves.
Skepticism is killing more than Christmas spirit.