The moral imperative of the Christmas season
There have been efforts in the past several years to have religious spirit predominate in the celebration of Christmas. However, commercialism has always prevailed. The desire to purchase presents for friends and family is too strong. And the presents have to be both expensive and imaginative in order to assure the beneficiaries of the donor’s profound adoration. With this impetus, the Christmas shopping season is a boon to the nation’s retailers.
It is easy for all but the devout to forget the message of Christmas. According to St. Luke (2:14) the heavenly host appeared to announce the birth of the Christ child and deliver the message that is often repeated at this time of year: “Peace on Earth, good will to men.”
Humanity has not done so well with the divine admonition to attain peace on earth. However, individuals can usually avoid personal responsibility for failing to contribute to a world without violence. Governments create wars. Indeed, citizens can urge governments to go to war, but there are rare instances in which a few individuals are wholly liable.
However, the precept of “good will to men” does require the individual at least not to become in a way toward others that is hostile. Only through an expansive spirit of good will can humanity create peace on earth.
The words of the heavenly host ring forth every year at Christmas, but even those who profess to believe in the Christian faith seem not to understand the religious duty they impose. The standard for believers is more than merely accepting the notion of “good will to men.” The standard established in the great commandment is: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:35-40).
It is enough for now to be aware of the issue and do the best you can.