If Jesus had not been born…

What is Christmas about? In the original story, it’s about God coming to this planet in the person of Jesus to rescue us from the mess we’ve made of ourselves (Matthew 1:21), and to help anyone interested in what he came for to experience peace (Luke 2:14).

And isn’t that what most people keep Christmas for? It’s an opportunity, no matter how brief, to put aside the messiness of the world and enjoy the things that bring us together in an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace. Witness the billions of people, NON-Christians included, who love the peace and goodwill that comes from giving and exchanging gifts, getting together as families, donating to charity, sending sentimental cards to each other, and greeting strangers with a hearty “Merry Christmas!”

But why would non-Christians get involved in all this stuff? It’s a blatantly Christian holiday, for heaven’s sake, with its Christian name, Christian symbols and Christian traditions, like the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, and even candy cane. And shopping malls still belt out carols blatantly broadcasting the Christian gospel. But non-Christians soak it all up too. It’s the most amazing phenomenon on the planet, that people of all faiths make a Christian holiday the highlight of their year, and don’t anyone dare cancel it either, or suggest we change its name. So how could this have happened?

Well, we all know it happened because of Jesus. If he hadn’t been born we wouldn’t have Christmas. But why is Christmas so popular when we know it’s really about him? It’s because we can’t resist what he came to this Earth with. He brought the life that God meant us to live. He lived that life himself as a human being, and then promised that after he ascended back to his Father he would live that life in us too. And here we are every Christmas proving that to be true, because we’re living the life of peace and goodwill he lived and promised. Even non-Christians, who have no interest in Christianity or Jesus Christ, do all kinds of peace and goodwill things at Christmas-time.

But Jesus did say he brought the “Kingdom of God” with him. He went on and on about it wherever he went, and how that kingdom was here on this Earth to stay – and to grow. And what do we see all around us at this time of year? The Kingdom of God. Peace and goodwill. Love and giving. Cheeriness and jollity, and strangers greeting each other with a smile.

Explain that in a non-Christian world. Oh, it’s fishy all right, because NONE of it would have happened if Jesus had not been born.

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