By Paul Goddard
By now, I’m sure that you’ve received numerous holiday emails. Here is one that I would like to share with you. It is entitled, “A Letter from Jesus”. This fictional letter has come to me in several versions. Here is one that I find interesting.
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season. Maybe you’ve forgotten that I wasn’t actually born during this time of the year, and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children. Children want to please, but they must get along with others and be obedient in the process. Now, having said this, let me go on.
If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting my birth, share my story with your neighbor. If all of my children did that, there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square. Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the Christmas tree a holiday tree. It was I who made all trees. You can and may remember me anytime you see any tree. (Decorate a grape vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in the Gospel of John, chapter 15.)
If you want to give me a present, here is my wish list. Choose from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to those who are away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of the year. I know; they tell me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing your employer complaining about the wording on his holiday card, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts that you can’t afford, and they don’t need; spend time with them. Tell them the story of my life, and why I came earth. Hold them in your arms, and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past, and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It will make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-line, they talk with people like that every day.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with him. Give him a warm smile and a kind word. Even if he is not allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas,” that doesn’t keep you from being nice. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day, they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. Here’s a good one. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes my love and good news to those who have never heard my name. You already know someone like that.
9. There are individuals and whole families in your town who will not have a holiday meal. Neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them (and I suspect you don’t), buy some food and a few gifts, and give them to the Church. They will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in me, then behave like you know me. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of my children.
P.S. Don’t worry, for I’ll take care of you and the rest of your siblings. Don’t forget that I am God, and your time on earth is short. Love me, trust me, and obey me.
I LOVE YOU