Don’t take Christ out of Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas! That is my Christmas wish for you and I hope that each of you is blessed this beautiful holiday season, the birthday of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

We all have so many blessings and I wonder if we realize just how many gifts Jesus Christ has given to us. Of course, the greatest gift was the demonstration of the love God showed for our fallen humanity. Instead of giving us what we deserve, God gave us Jesus Christ, a man who lived only 33 years on this Earth. That was such a short time, but in that span Jesus gave us the gift of eternal life and left an impact that affects our lives 2005 years later.

Even the very name, Christ, affects millions of people. Some people are offended by the use of Christ’s name in holiday greetings, so much so that instead of “Merry Christmas,” they say “Happy Holiday.”

By the way, the word Christmas is derived from the Latin language used in the Holy Roman Catholic religion. “Christos” is the Latin for Christ, of course, and “mas” is taken from the Latin word for church services, “mass.”

The name has even stirred a movement in this nation in which people have currently declared a “War on Christianity.” And yet those very same people accept the days off from work due to the birth of Christ and I have yet to meet anyone who refuses a present at Christmas-time. How do they rationalize those facts?

The birth of Christ was the very first perfect Christmas present and we all drive ourselves to exhaustion in our quest for that “perfect” gift for our family and friends. How many times though do we stop to think about the reason we give presents in the first place?

It’s difficult to focus on Jesus when we are running like frightened deer from store to store for those presents, but rest assured, he is always in our “presence” and focused on each of us, even the non-believers.

That brings me back to the blessings we all have. Even those less fortunate have many blessings, especially at this Christmas season.

Some people are not in perfect health, but if you can read this page you have the gift of sight, the gift of intelligence and education and the gift of the breaths you take while reading it.

Those are only the beginning of a long list of presents we enjoy. At the top of my Christmas list of presents is my prayer that Jesus Christ will fill our home and family with love and joy on Christmas day.

That joy thing n it may sound a little “hokie” to some because we all chase that elusive state of mind and sometimes it seems that life just overwhelms us.

There again is another blessing. Life! Even if it is overwhelming at times, God never forgets us and he always remembers to raise us up from the valley and back onto the mountaintop. How could he forget to remove a problem when he is constantly reminded by our intercessor, Jesus Christ, that he sent his son to save us all from ourselves?

Christmas is but a few days away and I pray that you are not one of those who “X’s Christ out of Christmas. Some people have no qualms in using Xmas in place of the name of Christ, the one who started all this.

I pray for all to have a peaceful and joyous time as our children return home for Christmas including gifts, dinner and lots of love.

I am blessed to know that in Gates County, no family known to be in need will go without a few gifts and a Christmas dinner. Working with Gates County’s Department of Social Services (DSS) has shown me what caring people populate the county. I know that together with local churches and civic groups, Executive Director of Gates County DSS, Colleen Turner, and her dedicated staff have done all they can to find families in need. I have also seen the collected food items and gifts that will go to these families.

I believe in my heart those families are just as blessed as the richest man in Gates County; for they are loved by donors who care and by Jesus Christ himself.

As you gather with your families this Sunday, Jesus’ birthday, try to take a couple of seconds to give a couple of gifts to Christ. The gift of your love and the gift of your praise for all that he does for us.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and many beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.