- Your Town
Opening the gift, finding truth
To the editor,
Shortly this season of varied special foci will be over – with all of its décor, family visits, gift buying and receiving, etc. It can be asked: What now remains down deep in the heart of each of us? Have I grasped the reality of what the angels radiated to the shepherds that night near Bethlehem when that wondrous babe was born?
For each of us, in that “unwrapped package” was a treasure with a greeting card from our Creator entitled, “Peace on Earth; Good-will toward Men.” The opening of it evades us, for it can only be discovered and unwrapped in the deep inner recesses of our individual spirits. In the course of our lives we have been busy building defensive bunkers to this by our massive self-centered works. These have a mix of disobedience to God’s laws and our own self-efforts of righteousness. Currently, from cultural news clips, some might be prone to even add the toughening influence from atheistic billboards in Times Square -- or perhaps that cynical neighbor’s anonymous note (Newton, Mass.) complaining that his Christian outdoor Bethlehem display was inappropriate. He was encouraged to keep such things “private” indoors.
But we must allow God’s Spirit to aid in breaking through the heart barriers to unwrap that Bethlehem gift from Heaven. In love, God made us for Himself, and in Adam we departed from Him. If we want to sense that restored true “Peace” with Him, we must realize our fleshly efforts of food, drink, entertainment, etc. are all in vain. The notable international writer C. S. Lewis concluded, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself -- because it is not there.” Yes, we NEED that Bethlehem package from Heaven, which when it was fully exposed on Calvary’s Cross, that One became an awesome cure for what ails everyone of us!
Thus, when in repentance we get a peek at that treasure, we will in “joy” do as Jesus said (Matt. 13:44), surrender our “all” to Him to gain that soul-satisfying reconciliation with our Maker. God’s Word assures us that package of “Peace on Earth” is there for every earnest seeking heart. Also in that special package is God’s added promise of “Good-will” that extends beyond the “Obituaries” section of this newspaper into the glories of His Eternal Kingdom!
H. Eugene Eslinger