You have likely watched It’s a Wonderful Life more than once. Every time this writer watches it, I think about or remember something new or important. It isn’t perfect theology, but it is a heartwarming and inspirational story.
You may have enjoyed the TV story of the Little Drummer Boy as a youth. Why not check it out again? The meaning of the story is sweet and true. What do we give the baby Jesus? The gift of ourselves, whatever good gift(s) and talents that we can share with others.
Here is the Penatatonix version of the song.
And as to the true meaning of Christmas, there is this classic scene from Peanuts characters Charlie Brown getting the explanation from Linus.
Why Christmas is of 365 Day a Year Importance
Words have meaning. Certain notions are of routine or even overriding importance. Why does our society today have such deep divisions? Why is it more difficult in our day for families, friends, coworkers or colleagues to get together and discuss issues of importance?
- Isn’t it because too many fail to ask – what is the meaning and purpose of my life?
- Isn’t it because too many believers behave with little or no appreciable differences from unbelievers and secularists?
- Isn’t it because if there is a God, too few wonder what does God expect of me? Can we know that God exists? Yes. See the linked report below.
The Importance of Words and Their Historical Meaning
Holiday has as part of its origin the contraction of two words: “holy days.” As left-leaning Wikipedia notes: “The word holiday comes from the Old English word h?ligdæg (h?lig “holy” + dæg “day”). The word originally referred only to special religious days.”
Dictionary.com said: holiday is “a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.”
On Christmas, it is the birth of Jesus Christ that we celebrate. For centuries the Jewish people believed that God promised His Chosen people a Messiah, a Savior. Some have never learned or have in a practical sense forgotten that Jesus is Jewish by birth.
Recently, there have been reports from the Middle East of Muslims, including radical Muslims, experiencing visions or dreams about Jesus. As a result of those visions, there have been conversions from Islam to Christianity, even though those conversions may be risking their lives by becoming Christians.
There have also been conversions for centuries from Judaism to Christianity. Those conversions are occurring still today. But to look back at a classic example, at the end of World War II, the Chief Rabbi of Rome became a Catholic Christian. Why? That’s a longer story for another time, but it due in part because so many Catholics risked so much to protect Jews from the Holocaust ordered by the head of the National Socialist German Workers Party (I.e.: the NAZI party), Adolf Hitler.
Some today pay too little attention to how secular, atheistic or agnostic movements like Marxism, Socialism, the Nazis, and Communists (all branches of the same core beliefs, and often combining features of fascism – a blending of corporate and state power). Over 100 million people died due to tragedies that followed those socialist, Marxist, Nazi (National Socialists), and Communist movements.
Popular author and historian Hanne Nabintu Herland (see link here that will go live on Christmas Morning 2023) explained the historical importance of Jesus and Christianity in world history. So called “Western Civilization” is better understood as Christian civilization. Herland introduces readers to that important impact of Christianity in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and beyond to all parts of the world.
For centuries, there were no branches of Christianity. All Christians essentially held the same core beliefs. To oversimplify, for roughly the first 500 years of Christianity there were only Catholic Christians. Then, there were Catholics and Orthodox Christians for about another 1000 years. There were political and schismatic splinters, but in time, those factions were cured.
Martin Luther was a Catholic monk. Understandably perceiving sin in the people of the church, he announced he would break away from Catholicism. Within Luther’s lifetime, there were some 50 different competing versions of Christianity. It is said that before Luther died, he regretted his decision to break with Catholicism. Today, there are estimates of tens of thousands of different churches. That clearly was never Christ’s intention, given that he said several times that all believers should be one in their faith.
In our own days, the current Pope Francis is a controversial and sometimes divisive figure. But there have been great and problematic popes before. Jesus himself picked Peter to be the first pope. Peter on a personal level was a sinner. Peter said and did some problematic things, yet he was personally picked by Jesus Himself! It is as if God was telling us that it is the core teachings that matter, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
If we forget or never learn the meaning of words and ideas, then we become subject to the whims of society and fashionable beliefs. That is what happened in Nazi Germany, in Czarist Russia, and in pre-Communist China. As noted the wars, mass starvation, and murders that followed killed over 100 million people, per the estimates what was called “Democide – political scientist Rudolph Rummel defined democide as “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.”
“In 1994, Rummel’s book Death by Government included about 110 million people, foreign and domestic, killed by communist democide from 1900 to 1987.“
Blindly trusting government and political leaders is what contributed to those 110+ million deaths. There is a website and organization dedicated to teaching people about what’s called the Victims of Communism. But it should be recalled that socialism has been called a path towards communism.
It should also be recalled that pure capitalism is no safe haven either. Capitalism, per the socialist Benito Mussolini – who is considered a leader in the 20th century Fascist movement – is the joining of corporate and state power.
Traditional Christian belief is that free enterprise is a good system. Learn more at the report linked below.
Note, there is no “paradise on Earth,” but there is an eternal paradise. We will never be perfect while we live in this live on Earth. That said, if we as believers truly embrace the life of faith in an ever-increasing way (yes, with some forward, some backward, some let’s start again forward movements), this world could be so much better than it current is.
Inspirational and Informative Christmas Carols
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
(Lyrics per Hymnary.org website, with the Emmanuel typo corrected in the text below by MHLivingNews)
1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
The First Noel
The First Noel the Angels did sayWas to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay In fields where they lay keeping their sheep On a cold winter’s night that was so deep Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King of Israel!
They looked up and saw a star Shining in the East beyond them far And to the earth it gave great light And so it continued both day and night Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King of Israel!
And by the light of that same star Three Wise men came from country far To seek for a King was their intent And to follow the star wherever it went Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King of Israel!
This star drew nigh to the northwest O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest And there it did both Pause and stay Right o’er the place where Jesus lay Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King of Israel!
Then let us all with one accord Sing praises to our heavenly Lord That hath made Heaven and earth of nought And with his blood mankind hath bought Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King of Israel!
Noel Noel Noel Noel Born is the King Born is the King Born is the King of Israel!
Silent Night Lyrics[Verse 1] Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace [Verse 2] Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Learn More at the articles linked herein and below. Merry Christmas to one and all, 365 days a year, and 366 days a year during leap years. ##
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
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