Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of peace on Earth and goodwill to men.

Gee, it sure doesn’t feel that way to me. I wonder how many people are smiling and saying “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” when what they really want to do is frown and say, “Bah! Humbug!”

The Christmas season of 2020 sees large numbers of Americans despising and distrusting each other. The accusations, the suspicions, the attitude of entitlement because they claim to be victims of something, the vilification of others, the refusal to listen and reason, and the self-righteous chest thumping are poisoning all of American culture. This “Them & Us” mentality is far worse of an infection than the coronavirus will ever be.

Come to think of it, the Them & Us mentality made the spread of that little bug far worse than it could’ve been. It became a political issue instead of a public health issue.

When it seems like the world is falling apart, it’s important to remember the real reason for the season. All the celebrating, singing carols and other aspects of “holiday joy” are merely superficial. The real meaning of Christmas is the baby born in the manger in Bethlehem.

That baby was named Jesus, and He would go on to pay the price for the sins of humanity. He did it out of love for us lost human beings. We did nothing to deserve it, but He did it anyway. It was an act of pure grace.

The sad part is that some of those who have been called to preach this good news, this Gospel, have instead used it as a club over others. They try to make themselves or the side they represent appear holy and just, and make anyone who disagrees with them look evil. They try to use the Gospel to make themselves look good.

This is nothing new. There were religious leaders like that in Jesus’s day. They were called Pharisees. Jesus had some choice words for them.

When you accept Jesus, you realize He did what He did for you…yes, YOU! He paid your debt to God, a debt you could never pay yourself. You did nothing to deserve this. He did it because He loves you that much. A Christian should feel humbled by this realization.

Did it ever occur to you that everyone you see, every person on this Earth, is someone who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus? That’s right, everyone! There are many who don’t know it, and others who refuse to believe it. He knew this would happen. Yet, He died for them anyway. That’s how much He loves us.

The story of Jesus is the greatest story of selfless love the world has ever known.

When you let Jesus into your heart, it will change your whole way of thinking. You will be able to bridge the gaps. You will learn to love others. You will learn to forgive those who have harmed you. You will see everyone as your brothers and sisters, all children of God.

This is what we need more of in America as we leave 2020 and enter 2021. The love of Jesus and love like that of Jesus could make America whole again.

May the love of Jesus bless you and guide you this holiday season and throughout the year.

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