Take a few minutes to watch this hyper-smart, super-savvy, feel-good video from Westjet (mute sound when the TV arrives at 4.22-23)

Don’t have a few minutes? Let me summarize.

  • Westjet set up live Santa screen in departure lounge.
  • Santa invites people to insert their boarding pass.
  • Santa calls the people by name and asks them what they want for Christmas.
  • Passengers embark and fly to destination.
  • Meanwhile Westjet employees fan out to shopping malls, buy the presents, wrap them, and send them down the luggage carousel.
  • Astonished joyful passengers open their parcels to find exactly what they asked for: Android tablet, iPhone, TV, etc.
  • Westjet get viral Christmas video that boosts name recognition and customer goodwill far above what millions of Madison Avenue dollars would have bought them.

And Christians get a parable of the Gospel.

How so?

Because every day God invites us to ask for His greatest gift (Christ and His salvation) to meet our greatest need (guilt and condemnation).

And what do most people do?

Like some of the passengers in the Westjet departure lounge, they look on this Gospel offer with doubt, suspicion, and mockery. “Don’t be so silly…That’s just for children…That’ll never work.”

How did they feel when the presents started trundling off the carousel and they went home empty-handed. “Why did I think I was so wise? Why didn’t I humble myself to ask for something?”

What a missed opportunity!

Or like one poor man, who asked for underwear and socks, many ask for cheap, material, temporary things – and get them. How silly did he feel when he opened his parcel! Why didn’t I ask for more?

What a missed opportunity!

And note the tears of happiness when the biggest gifts arrive: vacations, an Android tablet, and even a 50 inch TV!

No doubt these passengers thought they’d taken this golden opportunity and made the most of it.

But what are these gifts compared to the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ; the most expensive, the most valuable, the most lasting, the most undeserved Gift. And free to all who ask (Matthew 7:7).

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!”

Take this opportunity of a lifetime; indeed, of an eternal time.

You’ll discover, just as these passengers did, that even if you ask with tiny faith, He will give you far more exceeding abundantly above what you ask or think.

  • Leanne O

    Dr. Murray, I appreciate very much the parable and lesson drawn from this video but I also have to admit I have a bit of a problem with the lesson drawn… we live in such a material world and so I’m not sure I like the idea of celebrating those who got big cause they asked big. The man who admitted he didn’t NEED anything other than socks and underwear and was content to not ask for more material things….well, I’m losing steam and not getting my thoughts out so clear… I guess, I’m affected by some recent pictures from my sister and a friend in Africa where people have NOTHING and LOVE ALONE is enough to bring on the smiles and tears. They don’t need things… and isn’t that what we need. The LOVE (through salvation) of Jesus only! That is the all in ALL! So I guess I’m struggling to see that compared to the “greatness” of asking for big impressive gifts and seeing people weepy because they get more material stuff… Not trying to be critical and judgemental…. just trying to share my struggle with it… to be fair I would also have to add that for the most part our family doesn’t do Christmas gifts…

  • Leanne O

    (I’m also carring this conversation on FB so I’m trying to include my thoughts as they come to me here as well to try and give a clear picture of what didn’t sit quite right with me)
    I realize Dr. Murray is saying that there is nothing compared to the greatest gift of all… there just seems to be an underlying current (for the reality of what happened) that suggests the people that asked for big things were smart and the people that asked for nothing… or JUST socks and underwear were “silly”. I said I appreciated his parable that NOTHING compares to the gift of Jesus Christ and that he wasn’t saying a TV was the all in all but that WestJet by holding on to that gift for last made it out to be the ultimate gift… I guess the more I think about it it’s just the insinuation that the man who only asked for socks and underwear was dumb… I have no problem with [your] pointing out that we expect little of a GREAT GOD who offers freely SO much more….it’s just not sitting right for how the comparison worked…. making any sense at all??

    • Julia

      You’re making great sense, Leanne. The parable drew an irresistible analogy to make a valid point, but like all parables, it falls down when you take it too far.

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Leanne, I understand your point and appreciate the spirit in which you comment.

      Somebody once said that “most parables are monopods and if we try to make them centipedes, they get all mixed up and go nowhere.” His point was that parables really have one main point not a hundred.

      So in this case, the parable’s main point was that most people will not ask God for salvation either because they don’t believe it’s that simple (childlike), or because they just ask for lesser material things when they could have had Christ and His grace. The couple who got the TV illustrate the fact that God often gives us more than we really believed possible – not that we should ask for TVs instead of socks!

      Like all parables, it’s limited and imperfect. But I still think it vividly illustrates one (or two!) important truths as well.

  • http://about.me/kootenayrev Richard

    I fly Westjet all the time and every time I think that if I ever leave the ministry (may God prevent) I’d love to work for them :-)

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