The real spirit of Christmas | NevadaAppeal.com

The real spirit of Christmas

Tom Riggins

It’s that time of year again. December is upon us and with it all the joys of Christmas. By the time you read this there will probably be the remains of Santa’s arrival and wrapping paper strewn near the tree.

But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, dinners with family and friends, parties to attend, and stockings hanging in the living room? Is this really Christmas?

It seems the true meaning of Christmas is being lost to the whims and desires of commercialism. Every year the Christmas displays are out earlier. We can just forget about Thanksgiving. It gets overshadowed by “Pre-Black Friday Specials” and other marketing ploys. If this trend continues soon we will be bombarded with Halloween Christmas specials. I don’t know about others, but I am jaded by Christmas marketing.

Our nation was founded based on Christian principles. The idea that certain rights are “endowed by our Creator” is paramount in the founding documents. The Christian ethos is fundamental in our manner of conduct in a civil society. Las Vegas performer Penn Jillette is an atheist, yet he often states that Christian values are what keeps a civilized society civil.

Because of our founding principles, Christmas can and should be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

We are fortunate to live in a country where one can freely practice their religion, whatever it may be or no religion at all, without fear of persecution. There is no doubt world-wide that Christians, as well as other religions, have faced persecution and fought wars over religious beliefs. Fortunately, the only religious war in America is political and social between leftists and much of the population.

Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all believers. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through God and Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.

Christmas changed forever for me a few years ago. Just a week before Christmas, I lost a son to an accident. Such an event often shakes the belief of even the most fervent believers. It took some time to regain any faith. Yet the most comfort came from the belief of an eternal life.

The true meaning of Christmas is love. God loved His own and provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him. He gave His only Son to take our punishment for our sins. He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So as we celebrate Christmas please remember the real reason for the holiday. Give thanks for His sacrifice and be grateful we live in this great country. Merry Christmas!