Christmas is a celebration of God and appreciation of the greatest gift
It’s hard to comprehend that one carpenter with a vision 2,000 years ago is responsible for the massive celebration today we call Christmas. It is even more amazing considering this carpenter, Jesus Christ, died in relative obscurity in a dry and dusty city in what is now called the Middle East.
In the time of Christ, the idea of loving your fellow man was a peculiar concept. Life was hard. Scratching out an existence often meant exploiting others. One can imagine that Christ, roaming about talking about heaven and love, was considered by many to be eccentric, if not crazy. When his ideas attracted followers, he was summarily executed. The powers that were had no need for new leaders of idealistic religions.
But Christ and his concepts of humility, love, faith and forgiveness lived on, powered by the Holy Spirit. The teachings of Christ transformed humanity. We knew there was more to life than brute survival, for we were made in the image of God. It is no coincidence that the most loving and forgiving of all religions is now the most dominant religion in the world. Human beings are destined for a higher purpose. Our belief in Christ vindicates a history mired in sin, cruelty and bloodshed.
Some Christians cringe at the materialism of modern Christmas in the United States. There are some who question what red and green blinking lights, holly wreaths, Santa Claus, reindeer, elves and massive traffic jams have to do with a simple man, the son of God, who taught love and humility.
Christ taught, among many things, that people should love life and love God. The singing, the shopping, the decorations, the parties are all a celebration of life, and as such, a celebration of God.
Behind the materialism and the shopping is the wonderful act of gift giving, the notion of putting others first, of making others happy, of loving our fellow man, of unconditional love. These are essentials of Christianity. It is still today the essence of Christmas. For it was Christ himself who gave humanity the greatest gift of all.
The following prose, from an unknown author, drives home the miracle of Jesus Christ.
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, a child of a peasant woman.
He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, then became an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never did one thing that usually accompanies greatness.
He had no credentials but Himself.
While still a young man, public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
One denied Him.
He went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
His executioners gambled for His only piece of property — His coat.
He was laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone.
Today He is the centerpiece of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat,
And all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.