God's Christmas Gift

by Rev. Mark Connolly

Christmas is probably the most unique day in the calendar that captures the minds and hearts of people throughout the world. And when you think of it, this is the way it should be. Christmas is more than family gatherings. Christmas is more than gift giving or sharing our blessings with those less fortunate. Christmas is more than Christmas carols, the Silent Nights, the Adeste Fidelis. Christmas is a reminder of the greatest event in the history of the world.

Arnold Toynbee wrote that this event had more of an impact on civilization than any other day. Teilhard de Chardin said it was the day when God Christed the world. If you analyze that word, Christed, you soon realize what this one day has meant for many centuries.

The story of the Christ child is the story of a child who became an adult. His theology was one of love and forgiveness. People who have studied history can tell you of the brilliance of the great military leader known as Alexander the Great. They, the historians, can tell you of the military genius called Napoleon Bonaparte. And for all practical purposes, men such as these two with all their conquests don't compare in importance or significance with the child in Bethlehem who taught that we must forgive those who trespass against us; that we must forgive seventy times seven and who repeated this theme of forgiveness when he said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Christmas is a reminder to those who are saddened that there is a God who loves you unconditionally. Christmas is a reminder of a God who will never abandon you. All the great virtues of trust and hope have greater meaning for all of us. Because of Christmas, we have a God who will never abandon us, a God who wants us to know we are not his servants, but his friends. And that friendship will last forever. His friendship with us will be the Christmas present we will have for all eternity.

Merry Christmas to all.

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