This is the last column I will write to be printed in 2012. Three different columns have been written every week of the year coming to a close. They have been used in many newspapers in the United States and in other countries and languages of the world.
What makes Christmas so different? A great early American writer suggested, “If you can keep Christmas one day, why not keep it always?” The friendly greeting, the smile, cheery words and the positive attitude that makes such a difference in the month of December can make a greater impact on the lives of others and in other nations if kept every month of the year.
Our friends scattered across the continents, and especially our nation, have brightened the days for Kitty and me. We will not forget them and their Christmas messages.
Christmas is such a different time of the year because of the Person whose birth we celebrate. The Christ child grew as a baby to be a busy child learning from His parents Mary and Joseph. He was amazing the scholars, by both his questions and answers, by the time he was 12 years old. He was already about His Father’s business. He and his parents lived in Nazareth and “the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). I suggest you read the entire second chapter of Luke. It will tell you again about the birth of the Son of God and the years of his childhood.
Just today, in my community, people were talking about Christmas (yesterday) and wishing others a “Happy New Year” and getting ready for the snow and ice that is headed our way. Greetings are still being received and I delight in reading each one – every word on the card and in the letters and enjoying the pictures of children and grandchildren.
Daily, for more than a week, I have enjoyed the Christmas tree that Kitty decorates so beautifully. Someday soon, it will be packed away and stored for another 11 months, but the memories will linger all year long.
This particular Christmas Day, we enjoyed being alone, but with delightful phone calls from both Elizabeth and Mark and exciting news about grandchildren.
As we watch the weather report this evening, we hear about the snow in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and that it is headed our way. We recall Christmas in those states – Decatur, Anderson, and Springfield and Urbana in the Buckeye State. Snow and cold weather seemed to be a little stronger than it is in our area of West Virginia.
What are the prospects for another year that is about ready to dawn on us? From all indications, things will be worse for the United States than they have been for a long time. When a nation forgets God, the God who brought it into existence, judgment can be expected to come.
I expect religious freedom to continue to decline as it has been doing in the last few years. We will be ordered to disobey the very Word of God, and if we do not, severe penalties will come our way. The economy, barring a definite turn for recovery, will continue to decline.
Hold fast to the Word of God. Be true to the teachings of the Bible. God’s judgment is on its way. If we repent of sin and turn to Christ in obedience, there can be a revival that will save our nation. That is the supreme message of Christmas, “The Savior has come.” Live in the spirit of the Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary. That is our only good hope.
© 2012 Wm. C. Ellis All Rights Reserved
Dr. William “Bill” Ellis of Scott Depot is a weekly syndicated columnist who writes on a wide variety of subjects. Ellis has spent 25 years as a radio and television broadcaster and as a guest speaker and teacher on college campuses.