Americans from coast to coast learned about the true meaning of Christmas in recent days thanks to a full-page Hobby Lobby advertisement celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Hobby Lobby ran a gospel-centric, Christmas-themed ad in newspapers across the country showing a painting of a toddler boy – representing a young Jesus – picking up nails on the shop floor as his earthly father, Joseph, tends to his works a few feet away. The sunshine through the adjacent window casts a shadow off Jesus in the shape of a cross.
The ad also contains a website where readers can download a free digital Bible. Hobby Lobby’s name is listed in small print.
Hobby Lobby runs Bible-themed holiday ads in newspapers on Easter, Independence Day and Christmas. The idea for the ads was birthed in 1995 when Hobby Lobby founder David Green was perusing Christmas advertisements in the newspaper and “felt commissioned by God to do something different,” according to the company’s website.
“Hobby Lobby was selling all kinds of crafts that customers used to celebrate Christmas, yet David Green was struck by the lack of any testimony in newspapers regarding the meaning of the holiday,” the company’s website says.
The first biblical holiday-themed ran for Christmas. It read, “As you celebrate this Christmas season in the warmth of family and home, may you be drawn to the Savior; He who left the beauty of Heaven on our behalf and became like us, that we might become like Him. If you know Jesus as your Savior, then this season already has a special meaning. If you do not, we encourage you to find a Bible-believing church in your community, and to discover a relationship this Christmas with the God who loves you more than you can begin to imagine.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.