Happy Birthday, Jesus

It would be easy at this time of year to get down about what we see happening in the world.  It would be justified to be at least a little apprehensive about what next year holds.  It would even be understandable to be cynical about Christmas and proclaim it, in the words of Ebenezer Scrooge, a humbug. 

But I can’t let that happen.  With all the uncertainty around, something has to be reliable, dependable, and, yes, optimistic. 

I’ll give you reliable.  How about God’s love?  I’m no preacher, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a particularly religious guy, but I have some core beliefs. 

I believe in the presence of an intelligent God.  This God saw fit to give us a place to live, the minds to learn how to make a living, and the hearts to be able to love and connect with our fellow man.  This God also gave us the gift of redemption in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.  God has told us that He will forgive us for our sins if we turn our backs on that sin and walk with Him, and the only way to accomplish this is to accept that God sacrificed His Son for us, undeserving sinners.  Think about that for a second.  God gave us His Son.  It would be like you sacrificing your son to save the lives of strangers in a convenience store robbery.  Most parents would want to take the bullet themselves rather than sacrifice their young.  But God did that.  He gave us His Son. 

This time of year, we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I remember as a child praying and wishng Jesus a happy birthday.  Now that I’m older, I still say this prayer.  There is no doubt in my mind that God made this sacrifice for us, and that Jesus can save us from eternal death. 

I am not going to pretend to be some kind of bible scholar.  I have my doubts about the “word of God” business, simply because the bible was written and assembled by men.  Not a few men.  A gang of men, alive at very different times in history.  I do believe the bible to hold truth, and I know that if you follow its teachings, you will live a much happier life than if you don’t.  Other faiths also have documents that lead to happiness for the faithful, and I don’t discount those texts at all.  God wants us to seek Him.  And if you do so faithfully, I beleive that God would be pleased.  Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever, your faith in Him is what God wants from us.  How you worship Him is up to you.

I’ve heard athiests say that God is a selfish god, one who constantly wants us to tell Him how great He is, that God is narcissistic and self serving in the way He treats mankind.  Depending on what church you attend, you may be led to believe this.  I don’t. 

Remember that sacrificing of His Son? 

Genesis says God made man in His image, as a companion on the new earth.  Man has many weaknesses, which God may or may not share.  Man also has many strengths, which God may or may not share.  Some religious people will tell you that God never makes a mistake and that He is perfect.  Not so sure about this one.  I would have to be really arrogant to tell you I understand the nature of God.  Anybody who tells you they know God never makes mistakes is probably pretty arrogant, too.  I know God is all powerful, and all knowing.   He can see and do anything he wishes.  What kind of God would He be if this wasn’t true?  But, like us, He will choose how, when,  and where to intervene in our lives.  Anybody who has teenagers knows what I’m talking about.  You can only teach them so much.  Some things they must learn on their own.  Sometimes this is a good thing.  Other times, it’s not. 

I’m not one of these religious nuts who thinks the world is 4,000 years old.  There is a lot a scientific data that disputes this, and God created the men and women who came up with this stuff.  Was it to test our faith, or was it to lead us to truth?  God wants us to know truth.  He wouldn’t mislead us on purpose.   God gave me the mind to be critical of things, to think through them.  Understanding that we are made in His image, God probably does this, too.  But again, I don’t know.  I’m just trying to be logical.

I like reading different things and watching different accounts of historical events, including religious events, to get a better idea of what actually happened and how man understood things at that time.  It’s an important part of my psyche. 

I also beleive that God made us the way we are.  He made us to be what we are, or can be, and wants us to be happy and share our happiness with Him.  Of course God deserves the praise for giving us the gifts we have.  Our intelligence, reason, and even our looks are His doing.  The people in our lives, our families and friends, God put in our lives.  We should be thankful for that. 

But God’s greatest gift to man is the one we will celebrate on Friday.  Our path to redemption.  Our path to eternal life.  A way to cleanse our soul of sin and put us on the path to walking with Him.  I trust God.  I don’t trust man.  Even men who claim to be “men of God” must be assessed and criticized if their ideas are in contrast to what God would want.  Men are self-serving and narcissistic.  Men are selfish and unconcerned about others.  I don’t think God is. 

He gave us his Son, after all.  I couldn’t do that.  Not even to save mankind. 

So, at Christmas, let’s remember that God loves us and wants us to be with Him.  He made a huge sacrifice to allow it.  Be thankful, and remember to wish Jesus a happy birthday. 

(I apologize if I didn’t capitalize everywhere.  I did the best I could and any ommission is not on purpose.)


2 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Jesus”

  1. donnyhink Says:

    Even though it’s a year old, I just found this post. While I agree for the most part and thank you for sharing, there was something that just threw me. Yes, I do beleive that God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is such an awesome gift. I am confused however when you said that God wants us to worship Him and then say pretty much that it doesn’t matter whether someone is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhists or whatever…as long as we worship Him. I personally don’t agree with that. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion and I am in no way attacking that. As a follower of Jesus, His teaching says that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Salvation is found in no one else but him. I don’t see how a Muslim or Buddhist can fall into that category.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. babaje2 Says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I was a little taken aback because this post is so old. But it’s good to know that people are reading and care enough to comment.

    I don’t want you to be confused here. My personal beliefs are that God sent us a savior and he died for our sins. However, if you believe that God loves us all and that he wants us to be with him in the afterlife, he wouldn’t put people on the Earth who are born, raised and believe in another path to Him, only to punish them with everlasting death because they did not accept Jesus as their savior. I have read a lot of material, including other religious texts as well as the bible, and as I try to find God in my own life, I simply can’t believe He would sentence an entire race of people to death, even though they have served Him best as their belief system taught them. He has to have thought through other paths to Him. God would do that, I think.
    Merry Christmas to you as well, and I hope the season and the new year find you happy and prosperous.


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