The Reason I Say Merry Christmas

On our GPR team we have people with a variety of beliefs, and they’re all welcome and respected.  I’m interested in hearing about all of them.  Genuinely.  So, I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself in this tip.  Let me share my story of Christmas.

When I was young, say between 13 and 23, my world had lots to  teach me about some things.  I could learn about DNA and the wonders of the human body.

In science class, I could marvel at astronomy and the newly launched Voyager II, the probe sent out to explore the Milky Way and beyond.

Biology class taught me about Dr. Leaky and his discoveries in human biology in Africa  (I was in grade 7 and always envisioned him as a scientist with bladder problems.  Somehow I found this killingly funny).

Science and rationalism was exploding, and the world was heady with all of these new discoveries.  The reigning belief system at that time was materialism.  In other words, what we can see and touch is all that exists, and the rest is made up fairy tales.  Lots of people (Joe Rogan comes to mind) still hold and promote this view.

But I found that, while interesting and factual, none of these scientific marvels even pretended to answer the most important questions that mattered to me as a human being.

Questions like:

How did I get here?

Am I just the result of an accidental chemical reaction?

What is my purpose?

If I’m a finite glob of protoplasm made by chance on a speck of sand in the universe, my purpose could only be one that I invent for myself.  There can be no ultimate, transcendent meaning to anything.

Where am I going?

This question becomes more than academic when you stand beside the grave of your mother in a cold fall rain as they lower her into a muddy hole.  Is this really the end?

And that’s where Christmas comes in.

This is the stunningly original and utterly unique story of the creator of the universe choosing to reveal Himself in the form of a helpless baby born into poverty (in something like a barn!) to an unwed teenaged mom.

Then going on to live a life of poverty and voluntarily giving up His life as a young man (through an unjust exercise of state-sponsored capital punishment) for ‘His sheep’ as He put it.

God coming to Earth as an impoverished baby to save us!? What a nightmare for the PR people.  How do you sell such an upside down story?

This is not appealing to the rich and famous! Who will ever give us celebrity endorsements?

When you see someone wearing a cross today, consider that it is exactly like someone from Jesus’s time wearing a tiny electric chair around their neck.

But I also realized that – if the story of that first Christmas is a true one – then my questions are answered.

How did I get here?

God made me exactly as He intended me to be.  I’m not an accident.

What is my purpose?

Jesus states it pretty plainly.

He said that you can reduce the Bible to two basic commands:  Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.  That’s my purpose.  Revel in His love and share it with others no matter who they are.  For all who know me personally, you know that I do this very imperfectly!

Where am I going?

To paradise when I die.  To earth as it was meant to be.  Free from the stain of evil that corrupts our world and our own hearts.

Either it’s too good to be true, or so good it must be true.

At least that’s what I came to believe. So full of hope.  With such an exciting future.

If the Christmas story is true, then there is a God who cares for me personally.  One who has undergone all of the same pain that I go through and who empathizes with me.

He knows what it’s like to lose friends to death and what it’s like to be hungry and how it feels to suffer and to be hated by lots of people.  That baby grew up to understand physical and emotional pain all too well.

My earthly mentor is someone I never met.  He died on the same day as JFK, in November of 1963.  He was an Oxford professor, close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien, and writer of the Chronicles of Narnia.  Here’s how he put it:

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season, whatever you do or don’t believe.  I hope you get to spend time with people you love, eat too much, and rest up a bit too.

From my family to yours,

Merry Christmas!

Trevor head shot in office 1

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://professionalleadershipinstitute.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068

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23 thoughts on “The Reason I Say Merry Christmas”

  1. Thank you Trevor for such a concise and easy to read explanation of Christmas. With our politically correct ‘holiday’ language so prevalent today, it’s great to read here why we celebrate this season.

    1. Thanks Lynd. It’s such a simple story that a 4 year old can get it, and so deep that scholars study and expound upon it for a lifetime.

  2. David Graham Bartsch

    Many for these marvelous words Trevor. Some things to think about here throughout this incredible day and Christmas season of opportunity.
    Best and kind regards to you and your family.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Everybody has a belief system. Everybody. We all live our life according to that view.
    In a culture meekly silent about faith this is a refreshing and compelling read.

    1. It’s a great point Leon. We all put our faith in something. Whether that’s an ‘ism’ (materialism, feminism, globalism, atheism, leftism etc.) or a religion or a person, we all need meaning. I urge everyone to read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi death camps. He believed that meaning is the biggest need that humans have. And technology and progress and material things do nothing to answer that most basic need. I know you know all this 🙂 but it needs to said and re-said. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Thank you Trevor for today’s post and the clear and gracious way in which you share!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!!

    1. Thanks Jonathan. Not many people today know that the Biblical Jesus was:

      1. Non white (from the middle east)
      2. Poor. He didn’t even have a change of clothes or an apartment
      3. A refugee. Fleeing for his life to Egypt with his parents
      4. Not a Christian! A Jew!
      5. Perpetually angry at religious fakes.

      There have been people who have misrepresented Christ and done evil in his name, but it’s hard to take issue with Him when you read the story of his life.

  5. “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” -C.S. Lewis

    Very well said Trevor (again). For those who don’t know, the guitars in the background of the selfie above are not mere decorations. Trevor is a musician. He also plays trumpet and can (actually) sing. Music flows in and through him and is expressed outwardly when he plays (very well I might add). In the same way music is in him, Christianity, indeed Christ is in him. Your “Merry Christmas” thoughts are finely tuned, easy to read, understand and appreciated. Keep it up Trevor!

  6. Thanks Trevor for sharing your thoughts, inviting us to ponder similarity and embrace the incredible Christmas story during a time of such bewilderment, remembering that Jesus suffered as we do, and much more, and yet spoke these words in the midst of his life – “My peace I leave with you…. do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Merry Christmas to all!!

  7. Merry Christmas Trevor,

    Greatly appreciate your message and thankful that you took the time to share it. I believe it is a wonderful time of the year to ponder and reflect on the many blessings we have received – the greatest of which was born in the little town of Bethlehem so many years ago. I hope you and your readers have a great Christmas with family and friends, and a genuine time of “comfort and joy” reflecting on what really matters in this life.

  8. This was such a refreshing and great read! The simplicity of a faith as basic, inclusive, and loving as the Christian faith. Thanks for putting this out there Trevor, and wishing true Christmas blessings for you, your family, and all readers of this wonderful post!

  9. Alfred Oostenbrink

    Thank you for this message Trevor. Its refreshing that to see that in business and personal life we still can express what we feel is right. The message is simple, and real. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

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