Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

December 24, 2013

Old Uncle Gib: Remember the reason for Christmas

By Old Uncle Gib
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Thoughts of Christmas always lead me back to old readings. The inspired stories of St. Matthew and St. Luke on the birth of Jesus Christ are the heart of the truth of Christmas.

In our so politically correct world today there is no more “Christmas break” from our schools. There are no more Christmas plays with the baby Jesus on the stages of our public schools, no manger scenes in public places. We are becoming like the holiday that is celebrated in foreign countries, only lights, parties and gifts, a time to be merry, but not with the word, Christmas attached to the title.

Again I sat and pondered a favorite reading that I will share with anyone who is willing to read this old story, “If Christ had not come.” The clergyman fell asleep on Christmas morning and dreamed of a world in which Jesus had never come.

There were no little stockings hung on the mantle, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. There was no church with the spire pointing to heaven. He was called to the home of a dying neighbor and said, "I've something to comfort you." As he opened his Bible it ended at Malachi, because there was no New Testament. There was no gospel, no promise of a heavenly home and salvation, no hope of Resurrection. At the funeral all he could say was, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” He woke suddenly and gave a great shout of joy and praise as he heard a choir singing from a church nearby.

Is your heart so heavy during the Christmas season that sometimes you feel like you just can't bear to face the world? You've lost precious family members, you've suffered the loss of a business, you feel like you're at the end of your rope financially or with your marriage? Jesus came to give you joy in all circumstances, the good and the bad. We don't have to wonder what it would be like if Jesus had never come, because he did come! Rejoice, the Lord is come.

Christmas isn't about the lights, the parties, or even the gifts. Maybe you think you've never gotten a gift in your life, but you did! Every human received the most precious gift ever given when God sent his son, Jesus Christ, born in a barn to bring us life everlasting. Yes, Jesus was born to die, but today, let us be glad he was willing to come for us.

Let us be glad and rejoice because the angels did say, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” May you all have a Merry Christmas!

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Old Uncle Gib is a weekly historical feature published each Friday. Old Uncle Gib is a pseudonym that was used by S.C. Bishop, who founded the Chronicle in 1886. Bishop actively published the Chronicle until 1948.