Health Care and Christmas 2013

- December 20, 2013
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Over time, people often forget the meaning of Christmas unless they are reminded through various ways, including exposure through media, religious organizations, holiday cards, and many other types of contact. For Believers, the reason to celebrate seems pretty obvious, but it really can be easy to take your focus off the main purpose of this time of year. When parties and presents and priorities get a bit overwhelming, the forest of activity can appear to be much larger than the individual tree of liberty and freedom. The Spirit of the Season can get lost in the sensationalism of the moment.

It’s really okay to be involved in various holiday events like parties, concerts and events, and shopping for gifts. There is no harm in doing those things, but they can get too demanding for your time and treasure. However, when the Christmas rush gets out of control, it’s time to take a step back and look at the importance of the true celebration of the event. Not all holidays are created equal. Christmas is one that mandates special attention.
Let’s take a look at how this holiday came about, starting about two thousand years ago. That seems like a very long time to look back, but when compared to eternity, those millennia are a brief passage. Mankind has been the same before and since, and the need for a relationship with a divine being has been the driving force since the first man and woman were created. Some people recognize that desire, but sadly many have and still do not. Fortunately, there is a plan that was laid down before the foundation of the earth, and all you have to do is accept it.

According  to the New Testament Bible, the book of Luke—a well known physician of the day living in what was to eventually be known as the Holy Land—penned words that have been taken to be the real story of the beginning of Christmas. More than the hymns and carols, more than the porcelain figurines in a crèche, and beyond the understanding of most of the world, the events unfold in a time of great pain and struggle. Here are the divinely inspired phrases announcing the birth of Emmanuel—God with Us, from Luke 2:
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Seemingly a simple tale of a young girl and her husband who gave birth to a baby in uncertain circumstances, yet the events that unfold here tell of the single greatest event in the history of mankind—a deliverer who would change the course of history forever, and a Savior that would one day give His life for the redemption of all mankind past, present, and future.
Seem impossible or too difficult to believe? To most people, yes. But to those who believe, the Christmas season is all about hope. The consequences of what you do on earth affect what happens after you are gone, not only for you personally, but for all those with whom you come in contact. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and there are any number of fantastic opportunities for you to experience—music, food, gifts, friendship, and family.

And you know, it actually is better to give than receive. You won’t regret it. Be blessed by your generosity, even if it’s not expressed in monetary or tangible ways. Give those gifts that cannot be bought. Spend time with those who need an extra dose of good cheer. Show love and kindness to those who are lonely at this time of year. Seek to brighten the lives of those who could use encouragement. Pray for those who are having hard times. Share the news of the Christ child, and how He can give them hope, too.
It’s certainly nice to give and receive gifts, and to have a good time with family and friends at this time of year. But by all means, do not forget the Reason for the Season. Celebrate Christmas with hope and a new passion. Merry Christmas!

Until next time.
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