The Gift of Christmas Is About Giving
By Dr Emil Shehadeh
CAROL and I have just come back from Rothenberg on the Tauber in Germany, a walled medieval town famous for selling Christmas gifts and decorations throughout the year. The Germans do many things better than we. Of course, it was they who introduced the idea of the Christmas tree, an adaptation of their pre-Christian tradition. Their Christmas markets, gluhwien, and the stollen bread have recently landed on our shores.
As much as I bemoan the Christmas market as the ugly commercial aspect of what should be a deeply spiritual feast, it does paradoxically speak of the heart of Christmas. We go to the Christmas market to buy gifts for loved ones, and people in need too. Christmas is about God’s gift to mankind. Perfect God, loves imperfect humanity. His laws of Justice demand a sacrifice for the imperfections of humankind (sins). His immense love for us drove him to become man (Jesus) born in the humble town of Bethlehem, in order to die on the cross, on our behalf; “therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. In Christmas Easter is foretold, and Christmas is in Easter fulfilled.
In Christmas, God gives His most precious gift, His Only Begotten Son, as an expression of His immense love for us. This is why we give one another gifts. God is love. He is the ultimate giver. We, His children, ought to adopt His attributes of love and compassion. As we spend extraordinary sums of money on gifts, let us remember the poor and needy, dearly loved by God.
We need to defend Christmas, one of the most salient features of our heritage, from commercialisation on the one hand, but more latterly from multiculturalism. In the name of respect for other cultures, we have gradually suppressed every expression of our Christian heritage. How ironic that in this great Christian country, the nativity has been killed off by multiculturalism. And how ungrateful of minorities, who are given every right to express their very alien beliefs, some of which insult every fibre of our Christian heritage, to persistently claim that our celebration of Christian feasts infringes on their human rights. This is the height of intolerance. Which part of the Christmas story has ever encouraged people to commit violence, or to be selfish?!
Carol and I have recently met with some of our staff for Christmas dinner. How lovely to see them again, as friends, no more as employees. We wish them and all our previous patients and colleagues a merry peaceful Christmas full of the love of God. Why not go to church this Christmas and learn more about your heritage!
As for rumours that Carol and I are taking over a practice in Thurrock, we are seriously tempted.