To me those are such happy words! Happy people, smiling people, people greeting me with words that mean happiness to them does not offend me. No Christ‘s actual day of birth is not recorded but most likely it was not December 25th, so what? It does coincide with some ancient pagan rituals, so what? It is a day and a season when we traditionally celebrate our Savior’s birth. For me as a Christian, it is an opportunity to spread the news and share the joy that began with the birth of God‘s Son. I am thankful that He was born everyday of the year, thankful that He lived a perfect, sinless life, thankful that He fulfilled the old Covenant God made with Abraham, and thankful that God made a new Covenant with ALL mankind through the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ!
Christmas doesn’t mean all those things to everyone but everyone benefits from the good will that the season brings. Food Banks are filled by the good will of people who care, to be used by countless numbers of volunteers to feed hungry people during the coming winter and the new year. Warm clothing and toys are distributed to those in need. It is a time of giving, of sharing love and peace with family, friends and strangers.
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. My parents read that story to me when I was very young. I understood that Santa was an imaginary being but that the spirit of Santa was something that lives within us. It is that childlike faith that says there is good in the world and that being good is desirable and something worth doing, not because you get something in return but because giving to someone else makes you happy. As a child, I absolutely loved picking out gifts for my parents and grandparents. I used money that I had earned by pulling cotton during harvest. I couldn’t wait to see them open what I got so I could see their smiles and be hugged. The gifts weren’t expensive but they were chosen with love for each person on my list because I wanted them to know how much I cared. A bud vase for my Mom, a box of shotgun shells for my Dad, bath powder for my Memaw and a can of Prince Albert for my Papaw. I remember that list because those were the first gifts I ever bought and paid for from my own pocket. I wasn’t sure at the time just how Santa Clause and the birth of Jesus related to each other but in my young mind they were compatible because it all came back to being happy and sharing my happiness with everyone.
Those who are offended by displays of Christian symbols or the word’s Merry Christmas because they think that someone is trying to force them into being a christian don’t understand that it is impossible to be a christian by force. God gave us free will because he loves us and wants us to love Him, not because we HAVE to but because we realize that out of His love came the greatest gift mankind has ever received. Yes, people can be forced to do outward things against their will but a true christian knows that cannot and will not change the person’s heart and mind and that change has to happen voluntarily or it is meaningless.
I am not interested in arguing theology or rating anyone’s belief or unbelief against mine. My purpose is to share how I see Christmas, the joy and peace that my faith has given me throughout life and the love I have for all of humanity and my hope that someone might see a reason for further consideration.
Grace and Peace to all in this season of Christmas!
- How Merry Christmas is said around the world at Santa’s Net. (fourbluehills.com)
- Wish You a Merry Christmas! (gadberry.wordpress.com)
- I believe in Christmas (talesofthomasblog.wordpress.com)