Midwest Voices

Carol Dark Ayres: For the true meaning of the holiday, don’t forget that Christ has always been a vital part of Christmas

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As we approach another Christmas season, the argument continues as to whether we should call this celebration a winter holiday or Christmas.

Without a doubt the Christ, for whom Christmas is named, has had a larger effect on the world than any other man who ever lived.

The Bible is the story of Christ from the beginning of its first pages in Genesis to its dramatic conclusion in Revelation.

Everything in the Bible points to the Christ, his first coming, which is the story of his birth and amazing ministry and his second coming, which is the story of Armageddon and judgment. Christ is a mysterious figure.

His birth to a human mother and the spiritual God Father, clothes him in a mystery that humans cannot completely understand. But this was the dramatic requirement, which produced the “Godman” who can stand between a perfect God and sinful man and through his death and resurrection open the door that was closed between them.

He was the only sinless man to ever live, and his blood therefore was acceptable to God as atonement for the sins of men. The Christ, named Jesus by his parents as directed by God, was born around 4 B.C. and was crucified around 29 A.D.

He began his ministry when he was 30 years old, and it lasted three years. During that time he healed hundreds, perhaps thousands, as the Bible says he healed all who came to him.

He raised people from the dead and fed 5,000 on five loaves and two fish. His miracles were dynamic demonstrations that he was the Son of God and proof of the veracity of his request to all men to believe on him to receive eternal life.

Jesus fulfills 351 prophecies from the Old Testament made from 400 to 1,450 years before he was born. We have historical proof, through the Dead Sea Scrolls, of the accuracy of the dating of the Old Testament writings.

Professor Peter W. Stoner the author of “Science Speaks” stated that the probability of just eight particular prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 1 in 1017, or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. The probability number of 351 prophecies fulfilled would be so large that the strength of its argument could not be comprehended.

The Bible is the foundation of our nation as confirmed through the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our laws are built on the moral laws of the Bible.

The value of individuals and equal rights came from the Bible and was the bedrock that produced the greatest nation on the earth and guided our tremendous growth and success as a democracy. One could say that we owe our very nation to the teachings of Christ.

C.S. Lewis, the great scholar and Christian writer, put it so well: “Either Jesus was telling the truth or he wasn’t. If he wasn’t then he must have been a liar or a lunatic. If he was, then He is the Lord.”

One must question if a liar or a lunatic would have had an effect on the world that has lasted more than 2,000 years. For all of these reasons and many more, we should call this holiday Christmas and celebrate Christ’s life as the greatest gift ever given to mankind.

Carol Dark Ayres is a retired educator from Leavenworth. To reach her, send email to oped@kcstar.com.