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Christmas came up fast this year

                                        By Dean Nicosia

December 2008

Christmas came flying up on us this year, and now itís right around the corner. Everyone is scrambling to get their shopping finished up and with all the snow and cold hitting us this weekend, itís making it even more difficult for people to get that done. 

Coming from the mall today I couldnít help but think that it was about as busy as I had ever seen it. People with that overwhelmed glazed over look in their eyes rushing from one store to the next. For some reason, it just seems like Christmas comes up faster and faster every year, and stopping to look, smell and taste the season just doesnít fit in to our Google calendar anymore.

I guess that is the purpose of this for me, a written account of what Christmas means to me here in the year of our Lord 2008.

As a sign of the times, I sit here writing this on my laptop with the TV on in the background, this early Sunday morning and one of those TV preachers just came on, only this one also had a laptop on the pulpit, in the place of a Bible. And I got to thinking that it wasnít a bad idea at all, and maybe Iíll go out and get the bible for my laptop, and maybe Iíll be more inclined to read it.

Itís in that very scripture where you will find what is at the heart of Christmas, the true meaning of it all. Youíll find a story, which describes where the idea of Christmas came from. Itís about our Lord who created us for companionship, and in his infinite wisdom knew that true companionship comes from one who chooses of his or her own freewill to be a friend, one who could just as well choose not to be - a robot canít really be much of a companion. But with freewill also comes those who choose to serve themselves, at any cost, including hurting others, and turning away from God. 

And that is what happened early on, which resulted in the original sin, and it put a rift between man and God.

The only way man could atone for that sin and bridge the gap between him and God was to sacrifice the life of an innocent animal once a year, and follow so many other rules and traditions to stay on track and make up for his ongoing self-serving sins. But it wasnít enough, and it didnít quite do the trick.

As time when along we came to a point in the history of mankind, we had more people serving themselves than those who truly loved God and their fellow man.

God, out of his unending love for us, decided not to scrap the whole thing and start over, but he sent his son, to become the ultimate sacrifice as payment for our sins. He lived a perfect life, resisted temptation as no human had ever, and he became an innocent and ultimate sacrifice when he was crucified on a wooden cross almost 2000 years ago.

That moment when our savior Jesus was born marked a turning point for humanity, a bridging of the gap between God and man, and a reason for hope, that we will live with him in heaven, long after we have shed this mortal coil. And it's that very birthday which is celebrated on Christmas.

This goes right along with the other things that we enjoy at Christmas, such as giving, family, friends and good cheer. You see Jesus taught people how to get closer to God, and how to please God.  And if thereís one thing that you should take from the teachings of Christ, itís this; the greatest commandment is Love, the love of God, and love for your fellow man.

Christmas is that in a nutshell, good cheer, loving your family and friends, and giving gifts to others to show that love and to attempt to make them happy.  Itís all about serving something and someone other than you. Putting other peopleís needs above your own needs and submitting to the rules of a higher power. Our laws are based in scripture and those of us who follow them, and love our neighbors are the ones that are following the teachings of Christ. Itís not about how much you go to church, or how many times you speak the name of the Lord in a conversation, or how good you think you are. Itís about loving God and your fellow man.

I believe that Jesus not only taught us how to live, but that his death was the ultimate payment for our sins. I hope you believe the same, but even if you donít, by putting family and friends first this Christmas season, and by doing something for someone less fortunate, you will be honoring the true meaning of Christmas, and you will find great joy in that.

Christmas came flying up on us this year, and now itís right around the corner. 

God Bless you and yours this Christmas Season!

Thatís just my Slanted viewÖ

God Bless and Go Patriots!