Remember the true teachings of the season
Christmastime helps us reflect and focus on what we truly value in life... so many good things, such as peace, joy, goodwill, giving -- and forgiveness.
It is the time each year when we are reminded of the greatest story ever told, the birth of Christ and the remarkable path He took over the course of His short life.
His purpose -- His mission -- was to lead the world to the goodness and safety of salvation.
When Jesus Christ walked the earth, there was great evil in the heart of man. Today, that evil persists, and if anything it is even worse, as there are now so many more people, so many more places for evil to find a willing home.
If we are not careful, we can be overwhelmed by all of the tragedy in the world. There is an overabundance of sickness, poverty, crime, hatred -- and killing. Our various media do not help us much.
Even in the best of times they choose to trumpet the bad at the expense of the good. Apparently, it sells better. And more and more we find that good people say less and less about their religion.
Where we might benefit by lifting up the goodness of God's word and His love for us all, we find instead that good people decide to remain silent, professing the merits of keeping religion "private." Often, they are concerned that discussion of religion might somehow offend, or that there will be ridicule for any who dares to openly proclaim religious belief and a Godly love for fellow man.
America allows for freedom of worship. All religions are welcome here. We even permit people to have no religion. America allows for the free exchange of ideas, through conversation and through a free press.
Few nations in history have allowed these things and none to the extent that America does. We should not underestimate the value of our constitutional rights, which I believe were divinely inspired. We must be careful not to allow these rights to wither and fall away. Now more than ever we need the courage to exercise our right to speak freely of what is good, what we should do as a good society, how we should embrace the teachings of God. In these unsettled times of great evil and anxiety, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and the amazing things He did before his crucifixion is worth telling.
Now, more than ever, those of us who are Christians and celebrate Christmas should take the lessons of Christ's life and apply them to all that we do. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, pure and simple.
His life was dedicated to showing us the ways of God. By simply walking as a man, Jesus demonstrated how we should behave toward each other and how we should conduct ourselves in all that we do.
In the great story of Christmas, there is goodness and light. There is peace and joy, goodwill and giving -- and there is forgiveness. Who couldn't use a little more of each of these things today?
Merry Christmas -- and a happy holiday season to all. God bless!
Rep. Johnson may be reached by calling 614-466-2124, emailing District89@ohr.state.oh.us, or writing to State Rep. Terry Johnson, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.