Every year it seems that Christmas becomes more and more commercialized. Even in nations where the majority of people call themselves “Christian,” the season has become more about shopping than worshiping. The pressure to buy gifts and plan elaborate parties makes it increasingly difficult to stay focused on the real meaning of the holiday—the birth of Jesus, God’s only Son, the Savior of the world.

But every holiday I also hear the gospel coming from surprising places —the very places that so commercialize Christmas—shopping malls. When I hear “Joy to the World! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King” ringing from public address systems, I think of the words Jesus said to the Pharisees who told Him to silence the crowds who were praising Him. “If they keep quiet,” Jesus said, “the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40 niv).

At Christmas we hear stones cry out. Even people spiritually dead sing carols written by Christians long dead, reminding us that no matter how hard people try to squelch the real message of Christmas, they will never succeed.

Despite the commercialism that threatens to muddle the message of Christ’s birth, God will make His good news known as “far as the curse is found.”