Friday, December 23, 2011

Thoughts about Christmas and the birth of Christ

Historical academics debate the actual time of the birth of Christ.  Some are certain it happened in the summer.  Others are quick to point out that that the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ was set by the early Church to coincide with already established Winter Solstice Celebrations. So be it. 

Whatever time we choose to celebrate the birth of Christ, it cannot be denied the impact He had or the nature of His birth  Christ was born in a manger of a second rate inn that would not have Him and his parents.  He was born of the Virgin Mary.  But, if one dismisses that as religious hyperbole, there are the teachings of Christ to consider. 

The teachings of Christ forever redefined man and the Western world.  Christ was the first to set value on women and children and the poor and the downtrodden.  Christ taught to treat women and children as human beings, not property.  Christ taught us to respect the poor and downtrodden.  

Jesus Christ never set foot in a great college.  Jesus never ran a big corporation. Jesus was a man who was the step son of a man who had people whisper about his heritage.  Today, the Department of Social Services and some Guardian Ad Litem would intervene and try to prove to us all this little kid named Jesus was not being raised right. 

But, God had other plans.  His only begotten son, born in the most humble of situations, would not only go on to remind us that humble birth has nothing to do with God's Will, but would go on to teach mankind how to relate to one another. 

The teachings of Christ have impacted the world like no other.  The good guys, such as Gandhi and Buddha, really can not compare in shaping the world in what it became.  The evils guys, like Bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin did their thing, but did not even come close to impacting the world as the boy born in a humble manger did.

Think on it.  A boy, born in the humblest of circumstances, forever changed the world and it how it dealt with so many things.  Truly, only a Son of God could do such a thing.  

That said, a lot is done, especially politically, in the name of Christ, that is nothing near what he taught.  Christ spoke against the rich and the lawyers.  (Gulp).  Christ spoke up for the downtrodden, the accused, the women and the children. Indeed, the birth, death and Resurrection of Christ created a New Covenant between humans and God, a New Covenant that was more understanding, more loving, more generous and called for us all to put aside hate.  

It is an indictment on humanity that so many of us will embrace Christmas, celebrate it, and then go on to do in our daily lives and in our political lives things that go against what Christ taught.  

We should be more aware of that.  The goodwill and cheer of the Christmas Season is what Christ wanted us to do all the time.  That is why the historical arguments about the birth of Christ do not really matter.  Christ was born.  He offered his teachings.  It is our hard hearts against those teachings and our fellow human beings that makes the world what it is.  God tried to help us.  Christmas celebrates that.  If we refuse the help, it is all on us. 

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