Christmas and the ultimate gift
There is so much discussion about the attempt to take Christ out of Christmas. The expunging of the word and the spirit is regrettable of course. I wonder, however, if we’re missing the point. One doesn’t have to be a Christian to be a supporter of life, but it’s impossible to doubt that most in the pro-life community are indeed Christian, and – important this – that the most vociferous and angry critics of the sanctity of life tend to be atheists and anti-Christian. So the battlelines are more distinct than we might imagine, and become especially poignant in the Christmas season. The traditions are delightful and I have no time for the spasms of political correctness, but we’ve been taking the Christ, and the life, out of Christmas for generations.
Not only by refusing to say “Merry Christmas” but by allowing the slaughter of the unborn and the killing of the elderly and the ill to permeate our world. I can’t help thinking that the Messiah sheds more tears for a murdered child in the womb than for a store employee not mentioning His holy name.
Goodness me, I’ve heard angry people calling radio stations to abuse those who tell us to say Happy Holidays. Do they not understand the irony here? A person refusing to say “Merry Christmas” is annoying, but someone – perhaps even an alleged Christian – ignoring the unborn is far worse.
We have newspapers keeping a daily watch of businesses and activists who won’t mention the season. Yet the same newspapers seem indifferent to the aching agony of abortion and euthanasia. The trees, the songs and the gifts are overwhelmingly lovely. But it’s not about all that. It’s about a poor Jewish boy born 2000 years ago in occupied Israel. A Boy whose mother was a virgin and whose father was God. About the birth of the saviour, sent here for one purpose only.
To take our sins on His shoulders, to die for us and to rise again so as to give us all eternal life and happiness with Him in heaven. To show us the path of truth and love, to fulfill the promise made by our creator. To make the greatest offer in the history of humanity. He holds out His hand. All we need to do is to take it. He knocks on the door. All we have to do is open it and let Him in. He’s been holding out that hand, knocking on that door since the beginning of time. He will continue to do so until the end of the world.
It’s really so very simple. Yet we have done so much to obscure it. It’s not Jesus the tolerant, Jesus the social worker, or Jesus the socialist. It’s just Jesus. He loved the wrongdoer, but never loved the wrong itself. When He told the person without sin to throw the first stone, He also told the adulterous woman not to sin again. You’re forgiven, now change. No compromise, whether you like it or not.
We can disagree about solutions to poverty, the best way to achieve peace, the cures for hunger and unemployment. But some issues are fundamental. God’s plan is for His people to exist, to continue, and to be born to love Him and be loved by Him. There is simply no room for escape on the issue of abortion, and nobody who claims to love God can ignore the silent screams of His most vulnerable.
The name of Jesus is mocked, His life is criticized, His death is doubted, His love is exploited, His words are misunderstood and misappropriated. So what? He told us this would happen. His church still grows enormously, in Asia and Africa and within the pure, untarnished churches of Europe and North America. The Baby is born, death is destroyed. He will come again. Oh joy, oh glorious Christmas- joy. Have a wonderful, Christ-filled, Christ-centred Christmas. But remember this Christmas season the absent children unwrapping their gifts, the empty chairs at the table, the women weeping within, the men never forgiving themselves for what they did when they pressured their partners to kill their children. It is, and has long been, a Christmas lacking in so much and so many because of the plague of abortion.
Pray hard this season, work hard in the year to come. For if there is one ultimate gift we could give on any Christmas, it would be the restoration of a culture of life. Merry Christmas, one and all.
Michael Coren’s website is www.michaelcoren.com , where he can be booked for speeches, and his books purchased. This article originally appeared at The Interim.com on Dec. 14.