At this time of year, many people quote the line, Jesus is the reason for the season: yet this is not entirely accurate. The "Savior" featured in the New Testament was not evident that Earth-changing day long ago: only a tiny newborn baby. Upon Its birth, that baby spouted no profound parables , preached no sermons, uttered no great truths. Further, He had saved no lives, performed no miracles...known no suffering, or made any sacrificed on this Earth--great or small; and in truth, there was no guarantee--at the time--that It would. Those choices, as listed in the Bible and recorded in the annals of collective spiritual history, came much later--the operative word being choices.
At that time, at the time of birth, nevertheless, none of this had taken place. Moreover, none of the oft-remembered attendants of this celebration had any inkling that it would. They gathered together in anticipation of what would be, not what was.
It seems to me that individuals become so engrossed in forcing their beliefs upon others that they, in doing so, lose sight of the basics of those ideals themselves. At Christmastime, it is not His future which we commemorate but the simple, glorious promise inherent in that single, quiet miracle of birth. We, like those animals, those shepherds, kings and wise men gathered around the manger, celebrate hope and faith; limitless joy: the innocence of trust; that childlike awe experienced when encountering that which is new and breathtaking--never before seen, of which we had never before conceived. We are reminded of the incontrovertible values of selfless giving, of embracing hope of peace...and of that purest form of goodwill which both transcends the boundaries of nationality, social status, and economic standing in order to draw us--as human beings--across those meaningless divides so that we might share in what is truly important, not to mention infinitely more magnificent than anything we have or had in our lives before imagined:
The Promise of (indeed, the birth of) a limitless Love.
...So, I suppose it is my hope that during this season of lights and marvels, of beauty and majesty, of childhood and optimism, of exultant spirits and joyous giving none of us forget that in truth, for not only the believers in the Divinity of Christ but for every human being--young or old, of every race, creed, color, nationality, or religion--the True "reason for the season" is Love. It is Love which should be, is, and always has been the basis for honoring this magnificent day we call Christmas. How wrong it is, therefore, to accuse "the powers that be" of diminishing that message when it is those who attach to it self-righteous, often sanctimonious qualifications who are most often guilty of forgetting this fact!
The only differentiation between the "believer" and the "non-believer" is that one faction maintains that Jesus is Love. And, in all candor, if the objective is honestly to illustrate to others that this is the case, the means to accomplish this can never be anything less than offering love to others...rather than criticism and condemnation.
If one truly "believes," then the expectation should be that--having done this--Someone Greater can and will easily step in to do the rest!
My wish for this and every other Christmas is that every single human being who comes into contact with its concept remembers--in fact revels in the recollection--that the one thing we must never forget at this time of year
Is to love one another.