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Now that another Dec. 25 passed and the tree and tinsel are about to be put away, the question in our story title could perhaps haunt some thinkers.
Did we ever think what it would have meant to the world if Jesus had not come? Young people would, of course, decry the absence of trees, festivities, and, of course, Santa. But some older ones would have strange thoughts about this far-off imaginary future.
Picture it this way: An old man, gloomy and thoughtful, is sitting in his room gazing into the dying fire. It is midnight of the 24 of December. But it is not Christmas Eve. There is no Christmas, no Christ, and the children are silent and the world is desolate and sad.
The eternal death and sin remain. The old man is sad, thinking it was not always so. Many centuries ago, there was Christmas, the family gatherings and happy children tying their stockings, listening to the old story of “shepherds abiding in the field keeping over their flocks by night.”
But all that was long ago before the world grew weary of Christ. Gradually, year by year, they grew tired of hearing about Him, tired of thinking about Him. The majority of those for whom He gave His life lived without ever a thought of Him.
Others came to church in a patronizing way and said prayers to Him — as few as possible — and heard the sermons about Him — as short as possible — and went away to forget Him and neglect Him.
And God in heaven kept silence.
Then, as they did not care to keep Him in their thoughts, they soon began to doubt and disbelieve. The children grew too wise for the story of Bethlehem. The clever men proved that He had never left the tomb, that He was only a very good man, that the astounding miracle of God coming to earth was but a foolish dream that had to pass away.
Then, in the vein of intellectual pride, they criticized Him whose birth they were supposed to celebrate. He who would not break the bruised reed could never accomplish the proud destiny of humanity, for the bruised reed must be broken and flung aside.
The physical and mental failures must be painlessly destroyed lest they become a dragging chain on human progress. People must learn that breach of law has no forgiveness. Love of the failing and the helpless would be unworthy of God, a weakness in the grand scheme of things.
And that Christ was a mistaken dreamer.
In the midst of it all, the Lord arose in His indignation, saying, “Since they care not any more for the Son of my love, be it to them even as they will. Let the spirit of unbelief seize upon the world. Let there be no more Christ or Christmas.”
See next Thursday for Part 2