2006-12-18 / Columns


The only true reason for the season
Dr. French O

Dr. French O'Shields

          Well, Christmas Day is just a week away. Preparations started early. It was not always this way. Now decorations are up by mid-November. Vacant lots are filled with freshly cut trees. The largest Christmas parades are on Thanksgiving Day. Cards arrive earlier each year and Christmas music fills the airwaves all of December. Shoppers crowd the malls. Children wait for a picture taken with Santa.

Less you misunderstand, let me say I have no objection to the early and longer celebration of Christmas. The importance of the event justifies it and warrants it.

This is my objection: The exploitation of Christmas and other significant Holy days by the world, especially the commercial world.

They have stolen Easter Sunday, the Christian world's celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and given us the Easter Bunny.

They have taken our special day of giving thanks to God, "Thanksgiving Day," and replaced it with "turkey day."

They have taken the Christ Child in the manger and given us instead Santa Claus.

They have robbed us of enriching the season with the joyous greeting "Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year," and given us "Happy Holidays."

It doesn't take the intellect of a rocket scientist to understand what is happening here. Note how all of the exploitations advantage the commercial world. It provides more dollar profits for some and more strangling indebtedness for others. It also serves those in our nation whose desire and agenda is to totally remove God from our national life and toss all of our spiritual roots and values into the nearest dumpster.

My main concern is not that Christmas will not be observed. You cannot live in our current world and miss Christmas. The commercial world will see to that. My concern is that it will not be PROPERLY observed. JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON. It is for us to celebrate the birth of the God-Man, the only begotten Son of God, who came to live and experience earth as we do, so that believers can experience heaven as He does.

It is to celebrate the birth of the one "who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was 30, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city.

"He never traveled 200 miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial.

"He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth: His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave.

"Nineteen centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the crowning glory of the human race. The adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth's inhabitants.

"All of the armies that ever marched and all the navies that were ever assembled and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the rulers that ever reigned - combined - have not affected the life of man upon this earth so profoundly as that ONE SOLITARY LIFE" (ONE SOLITARY LIFE, author uncertain).

Never allow yourself to be persuaded otherwise: CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST!

(Dr. French O'Shields is a Gaffney native and a retired Presbyterian minister.)

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