A reader sent me the following “Letter from Jesus.”
“My Dear Children,
“I know that many of you are upset because folks are taking my name out of the Christmas season. Maybe you have forgotten that I was not actually born during this time of the year. Some of your predecessors decided to celebrate my birthday on what was a pagan festival of light to remind everyone that I am the true light of the world.
“How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I do not care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate my birth, just get along and love one another.
“If it bothers you that the town in which you live does not allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen on your own front lawn, and replace them with a small Nativity scene.
If all my followers did that, there would not be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
“Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember me any time you see a tree. You can decorate a grape vine if you wish. I spoke of that once in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you, and what each of our tasks are. (John 15:1-8)
“If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth, here is a list from which you can choose.
“1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, visit someone in a nursing home. You do not have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
“2. Instead of giving your children many gifts you cannot afford and they do not need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth and why I came to live with you on earth. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
“3. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
“4. Did you know that some people in your town will attempt to take their own lives this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you do not know who they are, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference.
“5. Instead of nit-picking about what the retailers in your town call the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they are not allowed to wish you a ‘Merry Christmas,’ that does not keep you from wishing them one. Furthermore, stop shopping there on Sundays. If the store did not make so much money on that day, they would close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
“6. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes my love and good news to those who have never heard my name.
“7. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a Christian. Do not do things in secret that you would not do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that you belong to me.
“Do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember.
“I love you, Jesus”