Harry Reasoner was an American journalist whose career spanned almost fifty years. He was known for his adroit use of language as a television commentator for CBS and ABC News. Over the course of his career he won three Emmy Awards founded the 60 Minutes program that is still running today. The reason I mention him is that I ran across a piece he wrote about Christmas for the 60 Minutes television program that I believe needs to be aired once again, especially in today’s politically correct “holiday” season.

In his piece, he said, “The basis for this tremendous burst of buying things and gift giving and parties and near hysteria is a quiet event that happened a long time ago. You can say that in all societies there has always been a midwinter festival, and that many of the trappings of our Christmas are almost violently pagan, but you come back to the central fact of the day … the birth of God on earth. It leaves you only three ways of accepting Christmas.

One is cynically, as a time to make money or endorse the making of it.

One is graciously, the appropriate attitude for non-Christians, who wish their fellow citizens all the joys their beliefs entitle them.

And the third, of course, is reverently. If this is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the Universe as a helpless babe – it is a very important day. It’s a startling idea that a virgin was selected by God to bear His Son as a way of showing His love and concern. This story has a magnificent appeal. Almost nobody has seen God and almost nobody has any real idea of what He is like. But everyone has seen babies, and most people like them. If God wanted to be loved … if God wanted to be intimately a part of our life, he has moved correctly, for the experience of birth and family is our most intimate and precious experience. So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it. And maybe on some given Christmas the touch will take.”

God is still touching lives and changing hearts. Jesus has been and always will be the only reason for the season. As the angel said to the shepherds that wonderful night, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Merry CHRISTmas,

Pastor Bill