Christianity endures because it offers eternal lessons for living

As most of this part of the world pauses this week to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we offer these words to reaffirm the meaning of this season. Much of our Christmas message you have read before in this space.

We won’t say here that Christianity is the only way to find happiness or eternal life. Many of our readers subscribe to other religions or none at all. However, Christianity has endured as long as it has, in part, because it gives people who follow its principles a way to get along in this life, to deal with its setbacks and tragedies, and even to live eternally in the spiritual world.

Christians are called upon to provide for others more needy. They are called upon to live a life of giving, not taking, and when they do, one of life’s enduring miracles occurs — the more they give, the more they receive.

We have seen in recent years, here in our communities, the tragedy that results from the use of illegal drugs. Whether it’s peer pressure, mental depression or an inability to cope with life’s stresses, too many of us are heading down that dead-end street. The drugs make taking, not giving, the sole focus of lives.

But it is not just drugs. Many people, who consider themselves faithful Christians, pray to God with a laundry list of requests: Fix my health. Fix my wealth. Make me happy. Etc. Jesus taught that it is better to pray in humble gratitude, to recognize how blessed one is, than to ask for something better.

And just as Christmas is a time to celebrate the beginning of Jesus’ life, it is also a time to recognize that within each of us live the seeds for a new beginning as well. Many of us flounder because we lack faith in our own talents and confidence in the future. But again, Jesus said, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the seas;’ and it should obey you.”

No matter where your station in life is today, Christians believe that following these and other teachings of Jesus can help any of us achieve our dreams and change the world.

It isn’t easy; in fact, it is extremely difficult to achieve the purity of heart and purpose needed to move mountains. But this week, most of your friends and neighbors celebrate the birth of the person who showed the world that there is a path. Today is as good a day as any to start down that path yourself.