GENDUSA COLUMN: Take Christmas to 2024

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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I don’t know about you, but there is a bit of dread as we head to 2024. Since 2020, we have remained in a 48-month-long election cycle. To say I am tired of political rancor and turbulence is quite an understatement. Vying for power is quite ugly and brings out the worst in most people. Then, often, the “worst” filters down to the rest of us becoming followers of bad behavior. 

Congressmen are leaving Congress; people elect not to vote or care. “I give up!” they say instead of “Let me try giving and doing more to help!” Is the lousy conduct winning and creating more bullies?

Some people applaud hate-filled rants and crave retribution. “Let’s punish the world!” becomes a mantra instead of “Let’s encourage the world by our example!” 

Now, do you, too, dread 2024? However, there is good news. 

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  God didn’t give up or not care, did he? He sent his son to teach us how kindness, humility, and love bring us closer to Him. Christ taught us to not fear death and to honor His Father in all we do. And he didn’t mean just to do so on Christmas, Easter, or any given Sunday. 

I am constantly amazed at how folks can dismiss Christ’s instructions when it involves politics. It is as if our chosen candidates or political party preferences come before the words of God. How does it become the “right” way in our minds when it is clearly the opposite of what we were taught. How do we dismiss godliness when God is still alive and walking among us? 

How does America win when we accept rude, intimidating, self-righteous behavior? Maybe God needs to win in 2024. And the only way He can is by us being godlier every day in all aspects of our lives.

Christ was born in a lowly stable to show us that a king can rise from humble beginnings. Jesus died as a villain to some, but again, he rose from the trials and tribulations of the hate placed upon him. Folks couldn’t see who He was through their political blindness and allegiance to their leaders. So, what has changed in 2023 years? 

Politics is not the answer to our problems, nor is a congressman or a president. The response to our various issues is to find solutions with respectful compromise and better attitudes among our leaders and ourselves.  When we put our Savior in the middle of the conversation, we become stewards of His words.  And those who care must never give up or give in. Christ sure didn’t, even as he suffered all the slings and arrows thrown at Him. He uttered, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” They didn’t, but we do now.

 We know better than those who tormented Christ below the cross. The difference is that we know God’s son lived on after his death. He walked out of a tomb and showed the world the scars of living, yet his spirit remained and is with us now. If only we believe that to be true. 

That’s how we revive hope and dignity in 2024. That is how we will be the world’s light and help the generations that follow us. Rather than using the adage, “I am yelling and misbehaving because I want to create a better America for my children,” why not say instead, “I want my behavior to reflect the words of my savior, and then America will be a better place for my children.”  

The glory God showed to us on Christmas night long ago should never become secondary to anything we do or are. If you think about it, no greater leader has existed than the child born in the stable. There has never been a more significant influence on Earth than Christ.  And he wasn’t elected by the people but instead chosen by God to lead the people home. Let’s not forget as we head to 2024 to take Christmas with us each day, to honor the Savior through our actions, and to remember that power lies only in the beautiful hands of God.