Ministers stress true reason for season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Signs say, "Jesus is the reason for the season."

For many area faithful, the birth of a baby more than 2,000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem is indeed the reason for the season, and the reason their holiday is meaningful.

"I'm always amazed that, through growth, maturity and circumstances of life, how much more meaningful Christmas has become every year," said the Rev. Charles Moran, pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Chesapeake.

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The Rev. Douglas Carter, pastor of First Baptist Church of Burlington, said the holiday's meaning can be found when one considers the gift that God gave in sending his son. Other gifts, however heartfelt, pale in comparison.

"You must put Christ in Christmas," Carter said. "It's not how much you're spending on each other. Then you miss the mark. God gave us his son, Jesus Christ.

"In our home we put a lot of emphasis on Christ. It is good to give gifts, but I would just love that people have that same spirit all year long that they do for Christmas."

Carter said by putting the "Christ" in Christmas, that sweet spirit is possible.

How do parents teach children the true meaning of Christmas? Carter said it is difficult but possible, by stressing the importance of Jesus Christ all year long.

"Tell them Christmas is not about having a tree nor about gifts, it is about the birth of child who came to save us from our sins," Carter said.

Moran said he hopes that during the Christmas season, people will reach out and find the true meaning of Christmas and in so doing, find new meaning in life.

"I like the symbolism of Christmas," Moran said. "It means love surrounds us. It is our option to open ourselves up like a bottle and let it in or cork it up and keep it out. Be that child and let yourself be filled."