The joy of Christmas

[The following was published by the editorial staff of the Telephone-Register on Dec. 22, 1921.]

One of the finest things about Christmas is that it is real and true. It is a joyous time proving than men and women were made to be happy. Christmas is here to stay and it is always looked forward to and enjoyed. Even though conditions may be different, the real Christmas spirit is there just the same.

Christmas is certain for it exists in the nature of the people. The spontaneity of the season proves that all men and women want to be good friends, and so when the time comes around there goes over the world the desire to be happy and make others happy. 

Let us investigate concerning the first Christmas and examine the past nearly two thousand years ago. “Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to enroll themselves, every one to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was not room for them in the inn.

“And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Be not afraid; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign upto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.’

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest. And on Earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.’”

Readily we see that there is some mysterious tie existing between the spirit and the nature of mankind, between Heaven and earth and even between God and man. We do not hold it strange then that during the season commemorating the greatest birth the earth should resound with, “On earth, peace, goodwill.”
What is the great secret of the unwonted charm brought by this brightest day in the year? Why is the season charged with so much joy and gladness? Why do people feel that they can lay aside their problems and smile and be happy with a faith and joy as great as their childhood days? The answer is easily found. It is the influence of the angelic song, which was heard at night, “Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.” To humanity, distracted and troubled with wars, with millions of people starving and suffering; to humanity broken with heavy burdens and wounded by sin, God sends a message of cheer: “Fear not, I am your Father. I give you a Savior from sin and misery. You are my children. My Heavenly peace I breathe upon you.” When this message of a loving God is given, it brings a wave of joy to the world. 

Everyone is out of harmony with themselves. The body and souls are striving against each other. This season brings forth the ideal of letting the spirit and soul rule and the body serve. The Christmas time should breathe the spirit of peace and happiness into each one in their relations to others. It should bring about a greater giving of self in service for others.

“Merry Christmas” and whether we shout it or not we must be sure to mean it. And meaning it we will be sure and do all in our power to make the day splendid for someone else. Christ came into the world to bring light, which brings joy and he came to bring deliverance to men. And so Christmas is a joyful day as well as a sacred day. This is the time for doing good deeds. It is not a time for receiving gifts alone; but it is a time for giving. F.M. Balfour says concerning Christmas gifts: “The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heat; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to a mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.”

And so we wish for each one and ever one a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May there be gladness in the hearts of all and may there be, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”


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