Christmas time is here again! This is the day when we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God. The timeless essay about Jesus entitled, ONE SOLITARY LIFE concludes with these statements about Jesus. He is a centerpiece of the human race…. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
Countless books, movies, songs, paintings, and sermons have been presented about Christ and Christmas. Some were heard only once. Others have those phrases and themes that impact our hearts to the point that we want to see and hear them again and again. One such timeless play about Christmas is A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Ebenezer Scrooge. All of us remember when Fred, the happy nephew of Scrooge, comes Christmas Eve to invite the old miser to Christmas dinner. Scrooge barks at him for his festive heart and chastises his nephew for his desire to celebrate a day that is devoid of making a profit from working. Fred’s response is memorable.
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew, ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Then, there is another classic account of Christmas that was penned by a doctor in the first century. Here is how that one goes….. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:4-14).