--By Father David, December 1979 (GP #944)
1 You can have your little baubles
And your Merry Christmas tree!
But all I want for Christmas
Is the Spirit wild and free!
2 MANY PLACES TODAY HAVE GOTTEN TO WHERE THEY HAVE JUST ABOUT COMPLETELY ELIMINATED JESUS FROM CHRISTMAS. All it is a tree and decorations and Santa Claus and presents and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells!
3 THEY EVEN CALL IT "X-MAS"--TO CROSS JESUS OUT OF CHRISTMAS In other words, to take Christ out of Christmas. In some cities, all you ever see are signs of "Xmas Holidays", "Xmas Sale!", "Xmas Shopping!", "Xmas, Xmas, Xmas!" They wouldn't think of putting up "Christmas"--that's the name of Jesus Christ!
4 AND OF COURSE, THEY'VE GOT A NEW GOD CALLED SANTA CLAUS--who is really the big department store! One of the horrible horrors of it is, that when they teach their children about Santa Claus, and then they start teaching them about Jesus--the truth and the real story and meaning of Christmas--the poor kids think, "Oh, this is just another stupid idiotic fairly tale like the one you told me about Santa Claus!"
5 BUT AT LEAST THEY ARE REMEMBERING JESUS' BIRTHDAY. Although it's a funny thing the way they do it: Instead of giving presents to Jesus for His Birthday, they give them to each other! Now wouldn't it be funny if along comes your birthday, on whatever date it is, and all your friends decide to celebrate it by giving each other presents and never gave you a thing?
6 IF IT'S JESUS' BIRTHDAY, WHY DON'T WE GIVE HIM PRESENTS instead of each other? And if it's His Birthday, instead of singing all this other stuff like "Deck the halls with boughs of holly" and "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" and a lot of other crazy songs, why don't we sing "Happy Birthday Dear Jesus"?!
7 You can have your earthly treasures
Your silver and your gold.
You can live a life of pleasure
Like a tale that's often told.
You can have flesh without measure
From your birth till you get old,
But the Spirit, it's the Spirit
That can never yet be sold!
8 ALTHOUGH THE BODY IS OF THIS EARTH and satisfied with the things of this Earth, the human spirit, that intangible personality of the real you that dwells in that body, can never be completely satisfied with anything but utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it.
9 "FOR A MAN'S LIFE CONSISTETH NOT IN THE ABUNDANCE OF THE THINGS WHICH HE POSSESSETH!" (Luke 12:15.) Living, the real thing, doesn't consist of things at all, because things cannot satisfy! They may temporarily satisfy the body but they can never satisfy the soul or the spirit of man which cries out to God it's Father for the joy and happiness and the eternal fulfillment that only God can give and for which He created it to enjoy!
10 IF YOU THINK THINGS WILL SATISFY YOU, LOOK AROUND YOU! Look at the rich!--They've got everything they're supposed to have to make them happy, yet they're not! Something's missing! They are often the most miserable and the most unhappy people in the whole world, for they no longer even have hope of happiness in riches, because they've already arrived and they've already attained all these things--wealth, money, power, material possessions, things! But to their sorrow and dismay, they have discovered that these things do not satisfy!
11 FOR ONLY GOD AND HIS TRUE LOVE CAN EVER FILL THAT ACHING SPIRITUAL VOID OF YOUR HEART which He created for Himself alone! For true happiness comes not in your personal pursuit for selfish pleasure and satisfaction, but in finding God and giving His life to others and bringing them happiness! Then happiness pursues and overtakes and overwhelms you, personally, without even seeking it for yourself.
12 For the Son of God was given
And was hung upon a tree,
And the only Gift for Christmas
Is His Gift for you and me!
13 "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) God loved you so, He gave Jesus to die in your place, to take your punishment for you.
14 JESUS, GOD'S GIFT OF LOVE TO US, IS JUST THAT--A GIFT--and we just have to receive Him humbly, knowing that we can't possibly pay enough to buy our way into Heaven, to buy eternal life, to buy the happiness that Jesus brings.
15 BUT MANY PEOPLE ARE TOO PROUD TO ACCEPT A GIFT--they want to work for everything they receive. But salvation is not a reward, it's not pay, it's not wages, it is a gift that you don't earn by faithfulness or by any kind of works of your own. "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.
16 "IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9) There is just one thing you have to do, and that is receive it, just receive it. All you have to do is reach out your hand of faith and receive it, accept it.
17 JESUS SAID THAT IF YOU OPEN YOUR HEART'S DOOR, IF YOU ASK HIM TO COME IN, HE WILL COME IN. He promised, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear My Voice and open the door, I will come into him!" (Revelation 3:20) So all you have to do is ask Him, and Jesus said He will come in with His free gift of eternal life: "For the wages of sin is death.--But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ!" (Rom.6:23)
18 HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT? --CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD! --God's Gift of Life for you! You can have Jesus and all that He has to give, which is everything, right this minute if you'll just pray this simple prayer and ask Him to come into your heart with all His love, life, liberty, truth, peace, plenty and happiness, here, now and forever! Just pray:
19 "LORD JESUS, PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR ALL MY SINS. I believe You died for me. I believe You are the Son of God, and I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door and I invite You into my heart. Jesus, please come in and help me to love others and tell them about You that they may find You too. Help me to read Your Word and understand it by Your Spirit. In Jesus' Name I ask, Amen."
20 HE CAN TURN AN EMPTY "MERRY XMAS" INTO A TRULY JOYOUS CHRISTMAS!--AND YOUR "HAPPY NEW YEAR" WISHES INTO A HAPPY NEW LIFE REALITY! So receive, love and live for Him now!--And you can enjoy Him and Heaven forever!
21 AND IF YOU HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED JESUS, SHARE HIS LOVE AND GIVE HIS WORDS TO OTHERS this Christmas, that they too may "know Him, whom to know is life eternal"! (John 17:3) Give Jesus to others so you can give to the Lord the gifts that He is most pleased with: The lives and hearts of men! Then you can really celebrate Christmas and sing: "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to You!"
22 It's the Spirit of that Christmas
That gives life to you and me
For a very Happy New Year
And a life that's wild and free!
Give me Spirit, give me Spirit!
Oh that's the life for me!
So for a Happy New Year
Give me Spirit that is free!
MO Letter References for the "XMAS?--OR CHRISTMAS!" Letter
EACH PARAGRAPH OF THE "XMAS?--OR CHRISTMAS!" LETTER IS LISTED BELOW, FOLLOWED BY THE REFERENCES WHERE ITS CONTENTS MAY BE FOUND IN THE ORIGINAL LETTERS:
- 638:61; 301:2; 352:18
- 255:99,97; 576:135
- 526:17; 708:66