Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
December 7, 2009
Christmas ensures world has comfort and joy
Like Narnia's winter, a world without Christmas would mean its softening love would be lost
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
In C.S. Lewis' delightful children`s book, The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe, we find a strange land called Narnia just beyond the back wall of a wardrobe filled with long fur coats. A terrible Queen of Narnia whose magic turns people to stone and keeps the land in a perpetual state of winter rules the land. It is always winter in Narnia but never gets to Christmas.
Imagine what a terribly cold world it would be without Christmas. After all, it is the promise of Christmas that makes winter bearable. A world without Christmas would be a sorry sort of place where people's hearts could turn as cold and hard as stone.
The magic of Christmas softens people. Greedy self-centred Scrooges have been known to fill Salvation Army kettles or generously give to other Christmas charities - even if they keep their wallets tightly pinched shut throughout the rest of the year. People smile and greet each other more at Christmas.
GIFT OF HIS SON
At Christmas, we are reminded of God's great love for us that he would send his only Son for human salvation. The much-loved carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen dates back to 15th century England and captures the essence of the real Christmas message:
"God rest ye merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay. Remember, Christ, our Saviour, Was born on Christmas day. To save us all from Satan's power, When we were gone astray. O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy, O tidings of comfort and joy."
Generations for nearly 600 years have sung this carol each Christmas season. Christ really did come to save people throughout the centuries who have gone astray and fallen into the grasp of Satan's power. It's as true in the 21st century as the day it was written in the 15th century - and before that too.
There are now secularists and neo-pagans who want to silence this message of hope, comfort and joy. They want to take Christ out of Christmas. Some secular extremists have even advocated abolishing Christmas altogether in favour of a winter pagan solstice holiday. This must not happen.
We would become like the land of Narnia under the wicked Queen, where winter never gets to Christmas.
We would have no genuine "tidings of comfort and joy" because they are gifts of the God. Gifts of the Spirit at Christmas come from recognizing the infant in the manger who would become the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1.29).
BE NOT AFRAID
Christmas joy involves shepherds tending their flocks and the angel that appeared to proclaim: "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
"And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Luke 2.10-12).
Without the angel and the heavenly hosts, the shepherds, the Holy Family in the manger, the accounts of events revolving around Christ's birth given to us by Sts. Matthew and Luke, as well as holy traditions established by the Church Christmas is empty. Without Christ, life is ultimately empty and meaningless.
LIVE AND DIE BY FAITH
Christ's journey from Bethlehem to Golgotha showed us how to live and die by faith. He gave us understanding that suffering has meaning because his suffering had meaning. His birth guaranteed his death. His death and resurrection gave us hope for our own resurrection and the knowledge that death is not the end.
Christ's first coming foreshadowed his Second Coming. By faith we live secure in our eternal destiny with Christ our King.
Christ told us the reason for his birth when Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king. Christ responded, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate asked, What is truth?" The truth is Christ. He is the light of the human race that shines in the darkness.
That great gift of salvation that began at Bethlehem continues to this day and is available to you and me with tidings of comfort and joy.
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