by Steve Wagers

The Grinch that Almost Stole Christmas
Steve Wagers
Matthew 2:1-16


Years ago, it is said that, Julian, the Emperor of Rome, professed Christianity in his early years of power, then he turned savagely against the Christians and vowed to exterminate them from his empire. One day, as a Roman soldier was beating a Christian for the faith that he believed, Julian the Apostate taunted the victim, and begin to mock him. Julian looked to the victim, and said, repeatedly, "Where is your Carpenter of Nazareth now? Where is your carpenter of Nazareth now?" The beaten Christian looked back into the face of the emperor, and said, "He is driving nails into your coffin!"

This seemed to be an accurate answer, for some time later Julian entered into battle. During the battle, the Apostate became severely, and mortally wounded. As he fought for every breath that he took, it is said that he clutched some of his own blood and threw it to the sky, crying out, "Thou hast conquered, O Galilean! Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!" 1

It doesn't take long to see that, in these days of holiday celebration, we have replaced the true object of celebration, with other objects of celebration. We have so commercialized this Christmas season to the point that we might as well be prone to ask, with Julian, in all of the glitter and gala, "Where is the Carpenter of Nazareth in all of this?"

As a matter of fact, statistics tell us just where our true allegiance lies in the Christmas season. For, last year alone:

? Americans spent 8.5 billion dollars during the Christmas season

? $150 million was spent for wrapping alone(most of which will be immediately discarded)

? $100 million was spent on Christmas trees

? $200 million was spent on postage

? 2 million telegrams were sent between the 23rd and the 25th of December 2

Now, lest you misunderstand me, I am not a "grinch" at Christmas time. As a matter of fact, there is no one who enjo ...

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