By John Larkins
The glorious, most loving time enshrined in the celebration of The Way is in the joyous season of Christmas.
The name of Christ is hidden in this title. Sadly, Satan, who hates Christ, has infected many confused Christians. We praise Santa Clause – who is named after one of Christ’s saints – but the Savior? Not so much.
In an abrupt change of national manner, it is now safe to say “Merry Christmas.” As many now know, the babe in the manger 2,000 years ago was the long-awaited redeemer of the world. Some thought Him to be a mighty warrior king that would restore King David’s tattered kingdom and achieve dominion over the many cruel suppressors of the people of Moses.
What the few knowing witnesses saw and honored was The Lamb of God, a somewhat vaguely predicted gift from God. Ordinary shepherds came, angels worshiped the child and wayfaring kings offered homage and gifts. King Herod connived to kill this possible rival to his sadistic ambitions.
Jesus was a baby who became the Son of Man and established The Way. We see him in the bible passages, at first working with His cousin John the Baptist in establishing The Kingdom of God. The power seen in the next three years far eclipsed the grandeur expected of a mere earthly conqueror and ruler. Mankind was still suffering under the influence of Satan and his minor devils. But now and then, those devils would be terrified by a suspicion or a hint that this was the One who return them to hell from which they came.
Jesus gathered his priests to teach and exemplify the community formed at the direction of the Son of Man. He taught that loving one another was the radical response to His love. Caring for each of God’s creations was their natural and normal mode of living, preparing for an eternal peace, along the lines of live all COULD have lived in His Father’s paradise if they had only obeyed. They now they would be given a second chance. This was, and continues to be, the wonderful good news within a community that together followed the teaching of its Church, praising God, telling all nations about The Way. They strived to be perfect, knowing they could only do so by repenting of their sins and living within His teaching passed when necessary by His disciples. All that time, Jesus avoided confrontations with the corrupt authorities so that when it was time His death, He saved all humans – past present and future. When the end came, the sinful chose to kill the savior, but The Son of Man did not fail!
The impact of the love Jesus showed changed human society forever, because all who followed The Way became loving of their fellows. So, the legend of Santa Clause, which is just one Christian Catholic’s way of caring for those suffering here on earth 1700 years ago, is repeated today. Can you imagine the girls having to pay significant money to the family of the groom? And suppose the father has more girls than money? An anonymous older man, perhaps a bishop, deposits money for all the girls. In those days ugly alternatives would have been all that was available.
“They will know we are Christians by our love!”
Merry Christmas! Do you know The Way?
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.