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Christmas reminds us to honor Jesus’ birth, life

Sat., Dec. 24, 2011

My grandfather was a Methodist preacher who used to wish Christmas worshippers a “Happy Easter,” just in case he didn’t see them again until Easter. The wish was gentle and in jest, but everyone knew it had a tinge of wistfulness – and sadness. The “C/E” Christian is still a stereotype we perpetuate.

It seems more contemporary Christian music is “C/E” too, combining the manger and the cross more than in past years. If so, I wish the trend would stop. We struggle enough with the Incarnation message of Christmas as it is.

Let’s not jump over 30 years right from the manger to the Easter message. Let’s not skip Jesus’ life. After all, it is the message of Christmas.

Jesus was Emmanuel, “God with us,” to show us just how humanity was created to live. His ministry didn’t start on Palm Sunday, you know. It started as he proclaimed God wanted the captives free and people’s needs met. He lived the message.

Honor Jesus’ birth. Honor his life. Examine and imitate – however inconsistently – Jesus’ life as you go about your own life.

Don’t rush Easter. It will come in due time.

The Rev. Paul Graves, a Sandpoint resident and retired United Methodist minister, is founder of Elder Advocates, an elder care consulting ministry. He can be contacted via email at


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