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Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Gift

I wrote this for the Duluth News Tribune.  It appeared in the December 24, 2010 edition.

Christmas is upon us again.  Some of us are still in a tizzy trying to find that ‘perfect’ gift for our loved ones.  Psychologists tell us this is a stressful time for many; the lonely, the poor, the bereaved, and those in dysfunctional families.  Benevolent organizations such as the Salvation Army are stretched in their efforts to reach out to the desperate and needy. 

God has a better plan:  He came in the flesh 2000 years ago, born to a humble young virgin in Israel.  Jesus, the Savior of mankind, the divine creator of the universe, came to earth to experience humanity and to offer humanity the opportunity to experience the divine.  He had full knowledge that he was headed to the cross with the purpose of taking the punishment for our sins upon himself.  He was God’s gift of Love.

Most would agree that Jesus has had more influence on the world than any other man.  Some say he was a ‘good’ man or a ‘great moral teacher’; however, he said he was Truth, Life, and the only way to salvation.  If he was who he said he was, he deserves our complete love, worship and obedience.  He invites us to follow him and promises he will be with us, lead us, answer our prayers and give us eternal life. 

Someone has defined religion as man’s attempt to reach God.  Jesus is God’s way to reach man.  Mohammed did not die for us; Buddha did not die for us.  The many Hindu gods did not die for us.  Jesus did.  He loves all mankind and he commands his followers to love others as he does. 

No matter who you are and what you have done, God loves you and has the perfect Christmas gift for you - himself! 

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