In a moment of desperation, Charlie Brown cried out the now immortal request, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Responding to his despondent inquiry, Linus took center stage and recited the passage from Saint Luke recounting the birth of Jesus. And in doing this, Linus pointed Christmas back to God’s gift of a Savior for all mankind. For thirty-three years, God in human form walked among men. He showed men how to love each other. He showed them the ways of a Heavenly Father. He showed men how to live.
While every Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, it was not Christ’s birth and life alone that saved us. It was in death that Christ gave men the gift of life. Just as addictions bind men to habits they despise, sin inseparable bound you and I to destruction. By dying, Christ took onto himself the penalty for the sins of all men and thus gave men the ability to live lives honoring unto him.
As I sit on my couch this Christmas morn, I am doubly reminded of God’s gift of a Savior. Not only have I received the gift of spiritual liberty, but the gift of temporal liberty as well. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words stand in direct opposition to the actions of governments and authorities throughout the annuals of time.
For the Founders, spiritual liberty preceded temporal liberty. This is why George Washington in his farewell address proclaimed, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Over the course of this Christmas break, I visited one of America’s oldest and most historically influential cities, Philadelphia. During my visit, I saw the Liberty Bell with its famous crack representing years of use. Forged onto the bell itself are the words, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” This Christmas, let us remember the birth of a Savior which heralded not only spiritual liberty, but liberty in all realms life. And let us continued to proclaim liberty throughout the land and world.