Chaplain relates Christian meaning of Christmas

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Maj.) Gary Ziccardi
  • 4th Fighter Wing Chaplain
Bright lights, parties, crowded stores, cookies, candles and decorations all over the place. Is this what Christmas means?

Rushing to make preparations for family gatherings and spending more than we can afford. Is this what Christmas means?

These activities are the by-products of an event that occurred 2000 years ago, but they do not represent the true meaning of Christmas.

Christians believe that God fulfilled a promise to send a savior by coming to earth in human form through a child born in Bethlehem, a small town in what is now Israel.
Christians believe that this person named Jesus taught how to live by loving, caring and giving without expectation of gifts in return.

Christians also believe when Jesus was executed by those who did not believe His message that He was God on earth, that He came back from death to show He has power over sin and death. He now lives in the hearts of those who believe their mistakes and sins can be forgiven by God.

His presence also should affect the way a Christian acts towards others. I read a story that illustrates this: An African boy listened carefully as the teacher explained why Christians give presents to each other on Christmas day.

"The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other," she said.

When Christmas day came, the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. As she admired it, she asked the boy where he found such a beautiful shell.

The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found.

When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was speechless.

As she exclaimed again how wonderful the gift was, she said to him, "You shouldn't have gone all that way to get a gift for me."

His eyes brightened and he answered, "The long walk is part of the gift."

The real meaning of Christmas is sharing the love of God that He shared at the birth of Jesus by going the extra mile for others.