Jesus needs to be a part of season

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Just imagine for a moment, if you can, that Jesus had never been born, or that King Herod had succeeded. The thought makes me shudder!
If Jesus had never been born the blessed hope is gone. No absolutes, no restraints and no hope bring desolation. With no standards to live by, mankind eventually annihilates itself and the human race could be gone forever in this day of nuclear disaster.
Without Jesus, there is no respect for life nor is there regard of man’s welfare.
But, praise God, he reached down to man. He sent his only Son to be born in a stable, to live only thirty-three short years and to be nailed to a cross to save us from ourselves.
He had no earthly possessions. He brought love, healing, peace and hope. For that he was ridiculed, mocked, persecuted, scourged, beaten and killed.
That Babe of Bethlehem truly brought “Joy to the World.” He forever changed the course of humanity bringing salvation for sin sick souls. No other single event in all of history has affected the world as this one man called Jesus.
Two thousand or so years have come and gone, but he still reigns. He lifts the hearts of the downtrodden and heals the brokenhearted. He removed the pain of yesterday and brings joy for tomorrow. 
So why do we celebrate Christmas? It’s because of Jesus we are hopeful; we are joyful. It’s because of Jesus; we will live again, forever. That dear friends, is reason to celebrate big time!
If Jesus is taken out of Christmas, forget it all! Do you think I would decorate for a “Winter Holiday?” Give me a break! Do you think I will have a family gathering to exchange gifts for the “Winter Solstice?” No way!
Jesus came to give not only an abundant life here, but also an eternal one in the hereafter. Who of us could give a more priceless gift? All I can do is give him my heart.
Because Jesus came, I want to give the gifts of love and friendship. I will exchange gifts with others, not for a “winter holiday,” but because I’ve been given the gift of life from the One who gave his life.
I will sing Christmas carols and adore him. Can you imagine singing songs about winter, snow, cold weather or whatever at Christmas time? Does it make any sense removing the very things for which we are celebrating?
What is it about this time of the year that makes it so different from any other? Why are our spirits lifted to the strains of “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger?” 
Could it just be that the Christ Child brings light and hope to a dark world? Christmas happens in the human heart. Even in the bleakest circumstances, Christmas occurs.
The “most wonderful time of the year” reminds even the haughtiest Scrooge that a “Prince of Peace” is born.
That Babe of Bethlehem brings Christmas cheer with love… for Jesus is love. A Savior is born. We have been redeemed. Repentance souls are forgiven. So how can we not celebrate? I, for one, will celebrate the greatest event of all time and I will love every minute of it.
“Let’s go forth with joy, singing and celebration.
That Babe of Bethlehem
On that Christmas morn so very long ago,
A Babe in Bethlehem was born that all may know,
We have been redeemed from sin’s dark ugly stain,
He brings hope for weary souls to start over again.
Such joy our hearts contain, his love it will not end.
Oh the joy and peace that comes from that Babe of Bethlehem!”
No matter how hard they try, they will never be able to take away Christmas from the human heart. Let Christmas happen. Allow the joy of the season to flood your being.
Christmas is all about love and love is the only thing that lasts forever!