Amer­ica at Christ­mas

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Andrew Napoli­tano

What if Christ­mas is a core value of be­lief in a per­sonal God who lived among us and His freely given prom­ise of eter­nal sal­va­tion that no be­liever should re­ject or apol­o­gize for? What if Christ­mas is the re­birth of Christ in the hearts of all believ­ers? What if Christ­mas is the po­ten­tial re­birth of Christ in ev­ery heart that will have Him, whether a be­liever or not?

What if Je­sus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago in Beth­le­hem? What if He is true God and true man? What if this is a mys­tery and a mir­a­cle? What if this came about as part of God’s plan for the sal­va­tion of all peo­ple? What if Je­sus was sent into the world to atone for our sins by of­fer­ing Him­self as a sac­ri­fice? What if He was sin­less? What if His life was the most crit­i­cal turn­ing point in hu­man his­tory? What if the rea­son we live is that He died?

What if af­ter He died, He rose from the dead? What if He was mur­dered by the gov­ern­ment be­cause it feared a re­volt if it did not mur­der Him? What if the gov­ern­ment thought He was crazy when He said He is a king but His king­dom is not of this world? What if He was not crazy but di­vine? What if when He said that He could for­give sins, He was re­fer­ring to Him­self as God?

What if He is one of the three parts of a tri­une God? What if this is an in­ex­pli­ca­ble mys­tery? What if there is no power with­out mys­tery? What if the power He pos­sessed, He ex­er­cised only for the good? What if He truly gave sight to the blind, hear­ing to the deaf, mus­cu­la­ture to the lame, hope to the dis­il­lu­sioned, courage to the weak and even life to the dead?

What if He freely did these things but sought no ac­cla­ma­tion for them? What if af­ter each of these mir­a­cles, He dis­ap­peared into the tem­ple precincts or walked well past the crowd, lest the crowd hail him as a tem­po­ral or sec­u­lar leader? What if there was in that tow­er­ing per­son­al­ity a deep thread of shy­ness? What if He was shy about His God­ness? What if He was shy about His good­ness? What if He loved sav­ing us? What if He was joy­ful but did not want us to see His joy?

What if He knew all along how pro­foundly un­timely and ut­terly painful the end of His life on earth would be but He nei­ther feared nor avoided it? What if His great­est dis­play of love was self-re­straint on the Cross?

What if most of the world that He came to save has re­jected Him? What if He still loves those who have re­jected Him? What if He still of­fers them sal­va­tion? What if His of­fer is real and for­ever?

What if many folks to­day have re­jected the true God for gov­ern­ment-as-god? What if the gov­ern­ment-as-god has set it­self up as pro­vid­ing for all sec­u­lar needs in re­turn for fi­delity to it? What if this se­duc­tive of­fer has been ac­cepted by mil­lions in Amer­ica?

What if the ac­cep­tance of this se­duc­tive of­fer of gov­ern­ment-as–god has ru­ined in­di­vid­ual ini­tia­tive, de­stroyed per­sonal work ethic, fos­tered can­cer­ous lazi­ness, en­hanced deep poverty and im­pelled thought­less obe­di­ence to gov­ern­ment in those who have ac­cepted it? What if the de­fi­ance in­her­ent in the be­lief of gov­ern­ment-as-god chills the ex­er­cise of per­sonal free­doms for fear of the loss of the gov­ern­ment’s mu­nif­i­cence? What if gov­ern­ment char­ity is re­ally mu­nif­i­cence with money it has taken from those who work and earn it? What if it’s then given to those who don’t? What if it is im­pos­si­ble to be truly char­i­ta­ble with some­one else’s money?

What if Je­sus came to set us free from the yoke of gov­ern­ment op­pres­sion and the chains of per­sonal sin? What if free­dom is our birthright, given to us by the true God, not by the gov­ern­men­tas-god? What if the true God made us in His own im­age and like­ness? What if the most sim­i­lar like­ness be­tween us mor­tals and the true God is free­dom? What if just as God is per­fectly free, so are we per­fectly free? What if we have failed to pre­serve free­dom and have per­mit­ted gov­ern­ments to take it from us? What if we are not full peo­ple with­out full free­dom?

What if the world was full of dark­ness be­fore He came into it? What if there is dark­ness still to­day but yet much light? What if we rec­og­nize that He is the Light of the World? What if Christ­mas is the birth­day of the Son of God and the Son of Mary? What if we rec­og­nize the pres­ence of the Son of God and the Son of Mary in our hearts and among us? What if the God-as-baby whose birth­day we cel­e­brate is the Sav­ior of the World? What if we don’t mask this but live it?

What if we say with our hearts and mean with our words — Merry Christ­mas? Andrew P. Napoli­tano, a for­mer judge of the Su­pe­rior Court of New Jersey, is a con­trib­u­tor to The Wash­ing­ton Times. He is the au­thor of seven books on the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion.

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