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December 9, 2013
Hello everyone. I hope that your Thanksgiving was fun and meaningful. We are in full holiday mode here at the office, getting all the decorations up, trying to squeeze in all the patients who want to use up their left over insurance money, and enjoying the Christmas songs that we get to play for about a month each year.

I was asked if I was afraid that some folks might be offended by the Christmas music that we play. I don’t hide that fact that I am a follower of Christ and how I run my office is no exception. But I also want to be sensitive to those of other faiths or to those without any religious affiliation. Here is my take.

What do we do every Jan 21st? We celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. What do we do every Feb 18th? We celebrate the birth of George Washington. These are two great and influential men whose birthdays provide us with a day to remember them and their contributions to our society, our culture, and what it means to live a life that made a difference for the better. As a Christian, Christmas means the coming of the Savior and so much more. But at its most basic level, Christmas simply commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. And birthdays are a cause for celebration. There are conflicting opinions of who He was and what His life meant, but I would hope that simply acknowledging the birth of the most important, influential, and controversial person to ever live would be no different than celebrating the birth of King or Washington.

Some question if He ever even lived at all. Why celebrate a fictitious birthday?

Unless you simply choose to ignore the pages of history, it is extremely difficult to argue that Jesus never existed. There is just too much historical and literary evidence demonstrating that Jesus really did walk this earth, live a sinless life, and die on a Roman cross. NOT counting the Bible, there are actually more literary references to His life than there are for Tiberius Caesar. If we then include the pages of Scripture, there are almost 5 times as many ancient writings about Jesus Christ than for the Roman Emperor. To doubt His existence, is to doubt history (a great reference summarizing all the evidence can be found in a book by Dr. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek entitled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”). The evidence is pretty convincing. Jesus was “in the building.”

Most world religions see Jesus in a positive way. Both the Quran and Jewish texts, at the very least, view Jesus as a good man, a wise teacher, and someone worthy of respect. And while our Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and other non-Christian brothers and sisters might not profess faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior who gave Himself in payment for our wrongs so that we may be right with God, that doesn’t mean that it's inappropriate to celebrate His birthday. Celebrating Christmas doesn’t make you a Christian. Celebrating Christmas doesn’t mean that you have claimed Christ as your Savior. So if all you do on Christmas is to acknowledge the birth of Jesus, that’s ok. It's ok to say Merry Christmas. It's ok to call it a Christmas Tree. And after all, it's a birthday and unless we are talking about remembering the birth of a bad person (and we’re not), birthdays are reasons to celebrate.

I realize that a dental blog should focus on dentistry, so I apologize for not mentioning teeth (easy on the candy canes and in a pinch, tinsel can be used as floss :-) ). But for a Christian, Christmas (like Jesus Himself) brings hope, peace, meaning, encouragement, reason, strength, and salvation. I would hope that such things would not be considered offensive. No offense is intended. And if there is something (or someone) that brings people happiness and enrichment, that is reason enough to celebrate, even if you are not one of them. I wish everyone, whether you are a Christ follower or not, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2014.

Peace.

Posted by FVDC Office on December 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM
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