Good Life

Clergy Column | The Rev. Keith Doster

Recently, a large electronic display in Times Square declared that nobody needs Christ in Christmas. It is surprising that so much money would be spent to broadcast something so obvious. It is common knowledge that millions of families celebrate a Christmas that is virtually destitute of any reference to the birth of Christ.

Clearly, it is not necessary to include Christ in Christmas. Multitudes enjoy Christmas parties, Christmas songs and Christmas gatherings around Christmas trees, and exchange Christmas presents with no intentional reference to Christ.

However, I do take issue with the word “nobody.”

It is not true that nobody needs Christ in Christmas. I, for one, need Christ to be there. Of course, I’m not alone.

There are millions of Christians all around the world who truly need Christ in Christmas and Easter and in every day of our lives. We find that life is not worth living apart from Christ. He is not just “the reason for the season,” but for life itself.

We are convinced Jesus was sent into the world by God. The Scriptures make that exact point possibly hundreds of times from the Old and New Testaments. One remarkable passage is the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, verses 22 through 24:

“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

The father sent the son. In John’s Gospel alone, there are at least 38 references to Jesus being sent by God the father. Most are Jesus’ own words, not because he was an egotistical maniac, but because he really was sent to us, by means of a virgin, by God.

To say that nobody needs Christ at Christmas is to say that nobody needs God at Christmas. And if we don’t need God at Christmas, then we don’t need him any other time of the year either. If we don’t need Christ, then we don’t need the father who sent him. And that was the intent of the Times Square display.

But if God did send Christ to us, should we not listen to him?

More to the point at hand, another person’s perceived lack of need for Christ does not negate my need for him. I need him more than anything else in the entire world. He is the source and the giver of eternal life.

It was Jesus who said in regard to his first coming, “I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, . . . I know Him, for I come from Him, and He sent me.” John 7:28-29

God sent Jesus Christ into the world. And God will send Christ again. It would be wise to heed what he had to say.