I wrote a weekly newspaper column for seventeen years that appeared in five different papers. I was given only 500 words a week to state my case. Most topics were doable, until it came to Christmas. How does one sum up the Christmas spirit with such brevity? Back in the 1980s, when I first started my column, seventy-five percent of Americans still believed in Jesus, so it was a bit easier to write something familiar and uplifting about the season. But today, while I haven’t read any stats lately on the subject, I think it would be accurate to say Americans are more diverse in their faith systems than they were back then. I respect anyone’s faith, even if it is different than mine. I believe all of us have a right to own our faith without fear and without apology. Expressing our faith with a true heart is not intended to diminish another’s belief, but to give a window into who we are. Furthermore, I believe that professing one’s faith should be honored and celebrated more. So, here is where my heart goes during this season of Christmas.
I do not believe that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. I believe that if we did a little historical snooping, we’d find that that date isn’t anywhere close. But I do believe in Jesus. I do believe he was born, sometime, and that there is probably a really good reason why we don’t know the exact date.
It’s not the date that is important, it is the event. Isn’t it amazing how just the thought of a little baby, dressed in simple wrapping, asleep in a hewn-out trough over 2,000 years ago, can cause us to be more courteous and thoughtful today?
In remembering Jesus’ birth, I remember His life. Jesus not only toddled, he walked on water. His mother fed him. He later fed five thousand. As a baby he cried when he was in need. As an adult, he prayed. As an infant, he snuggled on his dad’s lap. As a man, children snuggled on His. As a baby He needed. As a Savior, He gave. As a child, He played hide & seek.
As God, He doesn’t.
His birth was a miracle. His life was a challenge. His death was prophesy fulfilled, and His resurrection, a triumph.
In this season, I celebrate Jesus, the Son of God, not one day a year, but every day of the year with thanksgiving.
Merry Christmas, dear ones.