Thursday, December 25, 2014

Is the Christ Child Relevant at Christmas?

It’s Christmas afternoon again. The presents have been unwrapped and the paper stuffed in bags. The scent of pine cones dances in the air and the fragrance of ginger still linger in the kitchen. I heard the jingle of bells at the Salvations Army bucket as a volunteer shook the clapper in rhythm to the carols he sang. But, this year I heard, “Merry Christmas” fewer times than in the past.

Is Christmas even relevant in our sophisticated, intellectual approach to the holidays? Some will debate if Jesus was actually born in December, or whether shepherds were in the fields during that month and, there are those who say there could not have been a star so bright that wise men from the East would have followed it. I’ve heard all the arguments and probably, you have too. The real issue is, “Was the Son of God born and did his presence change the world?” Is Jesus relevant or should we grow up and stop believing in manger beds and singing angels?

If you need proof that “Jesus matters,” look around the world at countries that did not receive him. Does Love rule their day? I think not. Women are killed for wanting an education. Those with opposing opinions are beheaded. Political opponents are jailed. Crops, like cocoa and coffee, are harvested by slave labor, many of them very young. Children are slaughtered for not denouncing Christ, while we here in our “free country” are intimidated into not saying “Merry Christmas.” Pay attention to societies where Jesus is not welcome, where he never had the chance to usher in a life of love, justice, peace, joy, forgiveness, and the promise of Salvation. Now, you tell me . . .  is Jesus relevant anymore? Or, is he needed now even more than before?

Let me take the privilege of wishing you and those you love and hold dear, a very Merry Christmas, the rest of the day and throughout the upcoming year! Claim Christmas in your heart and carry it with you as we enjoy another year of Love.

Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

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