Prior to our revolution, most crown-appointed governors in the American Colonies remained loyal to the king. One such governor wrote to the Board of Trade in England stating that, "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ."
This attitude gave rise to a cry that was resonating throughout America: "No king but King Jesus!"
That is the ultimate truth of Christmas: the true King has landed. "Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!"
Just prior to His death, as Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman governor, Pilate asked Him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, "You are a king, then!"
Jesus answered him saying, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world ..."
Christmas isn't simply about a birthday. It is about the birth of a kingdom. Where is this kingdom? It is wherever He is King. It exists now in the hearts of all who believe that Jesus is all that He claimed to be.
Sadly, this is, of course, nonsense to most. For example, one author I read recently describes the "hidden meaning" of Christmas as a: "festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing." Huh?
This type of ignorance of the truth of Christmas is far too prevalent in a nation that was founded largely by Christians and upon the principles of Christ. This is not the fault of our politicians, our judges, the secularists or the atheists. The fault lies with me and with you, if you call yourself a Christian. Far too often we look to blame the problems in our nation on the immorality of others. Don't get me wrong; we must always speak the truth (in love) when it comes to sin, but we must never forget what we, as Christians, are called to be "the light of the world."
Also, we should not hesitate, as John Jay, member of the First and Second Continental Congresses, author of the Federalist Papers (along with others), and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court put it, "in the interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians as (our) rulers."
However, electing Christian politicians will not solve our problems, either. If it would, then Christ came in vain. As Dwight Eisenhower once said, "Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America." Our hope does not lie with men (or women), but with the King of kings.
Christ taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The creator of the universe, however, will not force Himself upon even the weakest of men. Neither should we try to force others to accept the greatest gift ever given to mankind. A holy end can never be achieved by unholy means.
As we celebrate Christmas this year may all Christians remember that after the gift of Christ, one of the greatest gifts we've been given in this nation is our freedom. And with this, let us also remember, as the Apostle Paul implored us, "... do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
In doing this we will show others the "true meaning of Christmas."
Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident. His Web site is www.trevorgrantthomas.com. His columns appear frequently.