Malankara World

 

     A Wonderful Night: An Interpretation of Christmas

By James H. Snowden


XIX. A World Without Christmas

What would be the effect of blotting Christmas out of the calendar of the world? Imagination would have to explore wide and deep in order to trace all the consequences. The gladdest holiday of the year would fade into a common day. The weeks that precede it would lose all their interest of preparation and expectation and would sink into dull days. The stores would not blossom out into brilliant bazars, cunning fingers would not be busy in secret, there would be no making and buying and hiding gifts, and there would be nothing waiting to be disclosed on Christmas morning! The morning of this day would dawn gray and bleak just like any other morning, and no red letter would distinguish it on the calendar of the year. There would be no glad greetings with the first streak of light, no rush for gifts and joyous surprises, no home gatherings, no neighborhood festivities, no benefactions to the poor. The tide of life would not on this day rise higher and run fuller and take on richer colors and sparkle with brighter joy, but it would remain at the old level and creep along in the same dull sluggish way.

Deeper losses would result from blotting this day from the calendar. There would be no story to tell of that wondrous birth that took place on the first Christmas morning and fixed the date from which all other events are dated. To blot Christmas out of the world we would have to blot nineteen Christian centuries from the history of the world; in truth, we would have to go farther back and dig up the roots of Hebrew history running through twenty centuries. We would have to go through the world and destroy every church and Christian institution: nearly every hospital would go down under this fell decree, and most of our schools and colleges. Our Bibles would all have to be burned, and our literature would be perforated and ripped to pieces. Furthermore, we would need to pull out of human character and life all the strands of purity and peace, of faith and love and hope, that have been woven into the hearts and lives of men by the hand of Christ. We would have to stop all our preaching and praying and hush every Christian hymn and song. We would have no word of salvation from sin, no comfort in trouble, and no hope as we look out into the beyond. The world would lose its Light and be wrapped in night.

Do we want such a world? Can we believe that God would make such a world and leave us as “infants crying in the night, infants crying for the light, and with no language but a cry”?

 

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