I love the Christmas season. This time of year brings a special joy to my heart. There is nothing I love more than getting together with my family, eating homemade barbecue, and watching endless reruns of the Christmas story. No matter what age we are, we can always be children again at Christmas. We can all relax and be close to the people we hold dearest in our heart and remember childhood memories that teach us what life is all about.
As a Christian, I also take joy in celebrating Christmas because it’s the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. It was around 2,000 years ago that Jesus came to earth, took the form of a servant, and gave his all for humanity. Whether you are a Christian or not, I believe there is much to learn from the message of Christ this holiday season.
The message of Christ is very simple, yet revolutionary. Someone once asked Jesus what he felt the greatest commandment was. Without hesitation, he quickly answered that number one was to love God and number two was to love your neighbor as yourself. Because this was the greatest commandment in his mind, it should also be foremost in our celebration of him this holiday season. Imagine if we all followed this teaching. Imagine what a wonderful world this could be if we truly believed these words and made them part of our everyday life.
In America, we have a bad habit of only looking out for number one (ourselves!). Even during the Christmas season, so often, we forget about our neighbor and allow ourselves to be overcome by selfish greed. This is a sad problem. Many of us have grown like Cain, in the book of Genesis, who said “I am not my brother’s keeper.” We have become like the rich man from the story in Luke 16 who, because of his love of money, could not enter the gates of glory. We have become like the rich young ruler in Luke 18 who would rather reject Christ than give his money to the poor. We have built up our own houses and stored up treasures here on earth so that they can rust, and in doing so, we have lost the true meaning of Christmas, which is to take on the form of a servant and love our neighbor, just as Jesus did. We often call ourself a “Christian nation,” but we have forgotten that the love of money is the root of all evil and we often fall into the trap of making money our god by putting our love of money ahead of our love for our fellow man.
Today in Texas, according to the Texas Medical Association, 30% of children do not have health insurance. Recent reports have shown that income inequality is growing in America and there is a chance that young people will never achieve the wealth of their parents. We live in a state that is underfunding education, firing teachers, and increasing class sizes. We are destroying our environment and leaving our children a word that doesn’t compare to the one we were blessed with. In short, we have let greed get the best of us.
We must change our ways! On a political level, let’s fight to keep a strong middle class where everyone who puts in a hard day’s work gets a fair wage and safe job conditions. Let’s fight to keep the pollution out of our environment so that we can breathe clean air, drink clean water, and take our children camping and hiking in the same forests our parents took us to. Let’s stand up for education and insure that the future gets the same, or better, opportunities than we did. On a personal level, we should help our neighbors, give them that extra smile, be quick to love, and be slow to judge. We should follow the example of Christ, not only during this holiday season, but every day of the year. The true way to put “Christ back in Christmas” is not with our words, but with our actions. If we want America to be a shining city on a hill, we don’t have to look any further than that still, small voice down inside that says “love thy neighbor.” In doing that, we can create a world where education thrives, crime falls, the quality of life gets better for all people, and we can return to the old days where community is more important than selfish ambition. There is no better time to do that than Christmas.
This is the most wonderful time of the year, and there is no better opportunity for us to follow the example of Christ and give freely of what we have to our fellow human beings. On behalf of the Kingwood Area Democrats, I wish you all the best Christmas ever, and a Happy New Year.
|My Book: As I See It: Class Warfare The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom