The Meaning of Christmas
by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
One of my favorite classes in high school was sophomore English taught by Mr. Hild. During the writing intensive units, we were required to write a five-paragraph creative essay each week. One week the essay topic was, “The Meaning of Christmas.” Well, I fancied myself as one of the top writers in class, and did a bang-up job in my 15-year-old mind of describing all things Christmas. I covered just about anything remotely connected with Christmas, except for its true meaning. After Mr. Hild had graded the essays, he said he wanted to read one out loud in class before handing them back. Though usually humble of course, I was sure that the opening sentence of my essay would be the first words out of his mouth. But as he began, I did not immediately recognize the story. But as he continued, the story had a scent of familiarity. The author had chosen to rewrite the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) in a more culturally relevant context. As the essay reached its conclusion, the author made it very clear that the reason we should love our neighbor is because God loved us first, coming to earth as a baby and then dying on the cross for our sins. I was very proud of my teacher that day for having the courage and taking the initiative to read that particular essay in the classroom of a public high school. I was even more proud of the young lady who penned the words of the essay, as I began to realize I still had much to learn.
How many Christmas seasons have passed me by without showing the same courage and initiative to declare the true meaning of Christmas? Sure, I certainly attend church, Christmas programs, and participate in various forms of advent. But what about my unsaved neighbors, or friends and family members desperately in need of true hope? While the Christmas lights on my house hopefully confess our family’s allegiance to our Savior, does the same light shine out of my mouth and deeds for others to see and hear? My neighbors know I regularly go downtown to feed and clothe the homeless, but as I drive by their houses along the way, am I truly fulfilling loving my neighbor?
I love the song by Matthew West titled, “Do Something” (go ahead, find it on Youtube). The main idea of the song is that God is constantly bringing love and hope to the world through us. In this charged political season, it can be a full-time job keeping up with the campaigns, and pontificating our personal thoughts about everything that is currently wrong with this great country. Instead, why not make loving our neighbor at least a part-time job? Our children receive tremendous teaching each day at school and church. But perhaps the most impactful lecture they receive comes daily in the form of their observations of us as parents. I am thankful for the sophomore girl and English teacher who reminded me that loving your neighbor starts with courage and initiative. May our children this Christmas season learn this lesson as well, not only through Bible stories but through actions written as family memories.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
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