Gift of Jesus best reason to be joyous at Christmas

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. Thegovernment will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called:Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince ofPeace.

Isaiah 9:6 NLT

The Old Testament words of the great prophet foretold of theSavior whose birth Christians around the world will celebrate in afew days at Christmas time.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When Isaiah wrote those words, they offered hope and promiseto a people in distress. Amid the strife and turmoil around theworld today, the prophet’s words offer the same message asChristmas nears.

Fighting and unrest continue on the ground where Jesus sohumbly came into the world so many years ago.

In the same region, U.S. soldiers risk their lives to bringdemocracy to a country while natives with differing religiousbackgrounds wage a bloody civil war. We must keep our service menand women in our thoughts and prayers as they spend their holidaysaway from their families and loved ones.

In our own country, secular assaults on Christmas and legalfeuds over religious symbols threaten to undermine the goodwill theholiday is intended to engender.

Thankfully this year at least, the anti-Christmas tide hasbeen stemmed to a degree with some major retailers’ decisions toonce again allow store greeters and employees to offer customers a”Merry Christmas” instead of the generic and politically correct”Happy Holidays.” Also, disputes over religious symbols in thepublic square seem to have been kept to a minimum and resolvedwithout a major furor.

Nevertheless, political battles, continued suffering fromnatural or manmade tragedies, and other troubles still leave manywith feelings of hopelessness and despair.

This is why we must always remember the “reason for theseason” at Christmas. Jesus came to bring hope to the world and totruly be Emmanuel – God with us.

More than 2,000 years later, Jesus is no longer physicallywith us, but his spirit lives on in the hearts and minds ofbelievers worldwide. And that, despite whatever personal or worldlytroubles arise, is the reason to be joyous at this time of theyear.

Merry Christmas!