June 19th, 2024

We need to think about the true spirit of Christmas


By Lethbridge Herald on December 24, 2022.

LH EDITORIAL BOARD

O Holy Night!

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

For more than two billion Christians worldwide, it is the season to celebrate the birth of their saviour. For many others who choose to recognize the holiday despite not having Christian ties, it’s a season to renew friendships and spend quality time with family.

Regardless of our reasons for getting into the Christmas spirit, this is a very special time of the year. 

Today and Sunday – Christmas Day – are a time of celebration, rejoicing in each other’s company, sharing good food and giving gifts.

Those of us who are healthy, have roofs over our heads and decent incomes are extremely fortunate we can celebrate the season. But many can’t. Poverty affects millions, homelessness affects many, physical and mental illness impact others.

We have people in our midst who will not be celebrating the Christmas season – seniors with no loved ones left alive or nearby, we have children and adults spending the holidays in hospital beds and of course, we have the disenfranchised and vulnerable who will experience only cold and hunger.

The vision of Christmas that has long been portrayed as being a time of gifts, fun and full stomachs is an illusion that too many in our communities never get to experience.

Thankfully, we have many organizations and individuals who donate their time and money to help the less fortunate in our communities but we need to do more throughout the year, not just at Christmas. 

The needy shouldn’t be forgotten for 11 months of the year then remembered just during December. 

This is patronizing, hurtful and does nothing to help fight the inequities in Canadian society. 

We all need to be cognizant year-round that so many among us don’t have the ability to feed themselves or their families properly, so many are struggling to pay rent and mortgages, so many are burdened with illnesses from which they may not recover.

We need to keep these people in our thoughts daily and make a concerted effort to ensure all Canadians can have a standard of living that we who will celebrate the season would be comfortable with.

Yes, Christmas is a time to celebrate, but it’s first and foremost a time to reflect upon the birth of a religious figure whose existence changed humanity and who is considered to be God personified.

For those who celebrate the holiday for the reason it was intended – the birth of Jesus, the saviour of Christians – this is a time to reflect upon His impact upon the world and the blessings his followers believe he has brought upon the world.

As we walk through our daily lives, we need to think how Jesus may have felt about the season that we celebrate in his honour. 

Would he have wanted feasting and celebrating in his name, or would he have wanted us to help those who are left wanting for the basic necessities of life?

We can all make a difference in this world for those who need our help. As we enjoy the season, let’s all make a concerted effort to ensure we all have a better future so that one day poverty can be eradicated and children won’t wake up in the morning hungry or with no gifts under a Christmas tree. We can all do better, we all need to do more. Making that effort may be the true spirit of Christmas.

Truly He taught us to love one another

His law is love and His gospel is peace

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother

And in His name all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name

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Say What . . .

Let us not forget that many on our streets are not truly homeless, who have not made every effort to get off the streets.
Many have homes, many are criminals, many with mental health issues are from the drugs and can be remediated by treatment ending the drug use, many are not addicted but live so they can live lawless pimping, dealing drugs and stolen merchandise, while the truly homeless and unfortunate try to deal with an overwhelmed system to house them and get them back into the workforce.
These truly homeless have their efforts impeded by the other 75% who use and manipulate society, preventing society from helping these truly homeless in an effective manner.
We, the taxpayer and residents that have taken the high costs and impacts to our community through out those 11 months you speak of, and do not need it thrown in our faces, to distract us at a time we are to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God who came to earth for us.
You brought up the Bible so let me also make some quotes:
1 Corinthians 10:21 NIV
 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV
“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
I support the food banks, the soup kitchen and other non-profits financially, but I am tired of seeing the issue growing because it attracts people who want a free ride on society.
I have full compassion for those who are truly homeless, but that is only about 15-25%.
This sounds more like something a non-profit would push to raise more funds.
I was excited as I started to read your letter, but lost hope when I saw it deviate to a guilt letter, that we should feel bad for the past year!
I remember the fire and brimstone preaching of 50 years ago when preachers didn’t know the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Instead maybe we should be praying that the addicts, homeless and criminals find Christ and a new life!

Last edited 1 year ago by Say What . . .
Say What . . .

To the Grinch:
Revelations 21:8
” But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”