For the final two Thursdays of 2020, we will share short editorials from the Christmas Day 1920 issue of Christian Standard. The first 100-year-old editorial is an homage to Christ and Christmas, while next week’s will look back at 1920 (and “forward” to 1921). George Perry Rutledge was editor during the years 1917-22, and he presumably wrote both of these editorials.
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Dec. 25, 1920; p. 10
The soul of Christmas is revealed in one of the names of Jesus—“Emmanuel,” God with us.
The world’s habit of parade, and noise, and money-getting, has obscured this great fact.
This festival has come to be the annual spree of shop-keepers in turning an occasion to profit, and of shoppers in a pellmell rush of insane money-spending.
The big city dailies begin earlier each year to display their warning sign, “____ days till Christmas; shop early.”
The condition which renders such admonition necessary is an insult to Christianity.
There are few persons to-day like Mary of Bethlehem, who keep the great things of Christmas in their hearts.
“God with us”—while the world rushes heedlessly on. “God with us”—in this round of self-indulgence. “God with us”—in the din. “God with us”—while we crucify His Son on the day of His birth.
If He is really with us, it means the presence of the spiritual, transcending all material things.
If He is with us, love illumines our hearts.
If He is with us, there is a calm of a great peace passing understanding.
If He is with us, there comes the rebirth of devotion, the dedication of our lives to the good.
If He is with us, redemption becomes the sweeping passion, and we are pressed out as messengers of the good tidings.
If He is with us, we shall offer the homage of the shepherds and the gifts of the Wise-men.
If He is with us, the Saviour becomes Lord of our lives.
He is with us. May we see Him. May we receive Him. May we follow Him.
Said Dickens: “I will honor Christmas in my heart.”
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Image: The Nativity (circa 1570-92), housed in the Royal Collection of the British royal family; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.