Kalamazoo, Mich., reporter, Don Rice, was stopped at a traffic signal when he saw a billboard for a medical center. The billboard had a picture of the nativity scene with the words, “After Thousands of Births, One Still Inspires Us.”
Rice writes, “I salute the creator of the posting…I think one does not have to profess to be a Christian to get the impact of the message. For whatever else Jesus was, I feel He seems to have been, and still is, man’s best man.”
Mr. Rice is so right about the impact that Jesus’ message has made on the world. I am a Christian and believe He is God incarnate. His impact is on several fronts in life.
Jesus impacts society. Rice quotes Sidney Harris, “It is easy to think Christmas, and easy to believe Christmas; but it is hard—sometimes intolerably hard—to act Christmas. It is not our false commercialism that prevents it, but our false spirituality, not the clang of the cash register, but the jingle of bells calls us to sentimentality, seducing us from the year-round ministry of brotherhood.”
Doing Christmas isn’t easy. Christianity is not a soft religion, but a tough faith to live and act on.
Rice said the fraying of the fabric of our social life today is more and more perceived as a national obsession. Fear is still everywhere. As it was 21 years ago when Rice was writing, fear is a major concern.
Confrontations occur daily. Racial conflicts, women against patriarchy, gays against homophobia, conservatives against liberals, fathers against child support, churchgoers against church policies, students against universities. A U.S. News & World Report editorial stated, “Instead of a culture of common good, we have a culture of constant complaint; everyone is a victim…gone are the habits America once admired; industriousness, thrift, self-discipline, commitment.”