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Just dropping by ... The character of Christ

Yevet Tenney Published on 06 December 2011

Among the Christmas lights, the tinsel, baking and shopping, our family goes caroling to the seniors in our community.

Along with “Silent Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels,” we sing a country song written by Jim Reeves: “C is for the Christ Child.”

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When I was a young lad Christmas meant one thing.
That I’d be getting lots of toys that day.
But I learned a whole lot different when my mother set me down
And taught me to spell Christmas this way.
C is for the Christ Child born upon this day.
H for Herald angels in the night.
R is for our Redeemer
I means Israel
S is for the Star that shone so bright.
T is for Three wise men, they who traveled far.
M is for the Manger where He lay.
A is for All He stands for.
S means Shepherds came.
And that’s why there’s a Christmas Day.

(repeat last phrase once)

The true meaning of Christmas emerges in the sweet lyrics of this simple song. Each letter brings to mind a picture of Christmas and directs the mind away from Santa, reindeer and presents.

In our self-centered world, we need something to bring us back to the reason we celebrate Christmas. There is another way to spell Christmas by thinking of characteristics of Christ, that we should emulate this Christmas season to honor Him. Each letter of Christmas will represent a quality Christ exemplified.

C stands for Charity
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Christ is the embodiment of Charity. Everything He did in His life demonstrated love for others. In His last breath, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

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H is for Humility
Christ was the epitome of humility. He could have had legions of angels to bear him up. He could have had praise and honor abundantly for His healing acts, but often He told those He healed, “Tell no man.”

He could have been crowned king, but instead He said, “... he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).

Christ’s humility was unbounded. He forgave the sinner and washed the apostles’ feet. He healed the leper and raised the dead. He was never too proud to eat with sinners. Everything He did was in submission to His Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked for the cup of death to pass from Him, but said, “Thy will be done.”

R represents Reverence
The dictionary defines reverence as fear: a feeling of profound respect for someone or something; “the fear of God;” a reverent mental attitude ... to regard with feelings of respect and reverence; to consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of; an act showing respect (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn).

Reverence undergirded everything Christ did. He respected the feeling of a father who came to Him to bless his daughter who was nearly dead and was ultimately dead before He arrived.

He showed reverence for Mary and Martha’s tears by weeping with them, even though He knew Lazarus, their brother, would rise from the dead. Jesus reverenced the little children, who thronged him even when He was tired. “Suffer the children to come unto me.”

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I represents the Icon of mankind
An icon is a symbol, a representation of something larger than itself. On a computer, an icon represents a file. In like manner, Christ represents all men in life and in death. His life was an example of righteousness and goodness.

He elevated man to a station a “little lower than the angels” and taught them how to live. He gave His life on the cross to wipe away sins and worldly sicknesses. He bore our griefs and sorrows. If we could follow His example, peace would abound in the world.

S stands for Supplication
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)

Christ taught us how to pray in a simple example.

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

He fasted for 40 days in the wilderness and prayed in simple gratitude daily. In His final hour, He supplicated the Lord for His acceptance. “Father, into my hands I commend my spirit.”

T is for Time
Christ is the greatest blessing of all time. He came into the world at a time when the world was in bondage to Rome.

He understood what it meant to be subject to political rule, but He knew that His allegiance was to a higher power: His Father in Heaven. In our time, we are subject to an ever-changing and fickle government but, as Christ did, we are to give our allegiance to our God first and all else will right itself.

Christ died for the cause of personal and spiritual freedom, but He gave his life for a greater good. We are not yet asked to die for His cause, but we must give our time and energy to live for His cause.

M stands for Magnanimous
Magnanimous means: great-hearted; noble and generous in spirit; understanding and tolerant (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn). Christ dealt with some of the most petty and devious situations in His life.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees constantly tried to trap Him with their questions and contrived situations. He was beaten and spat upon.

He finally faced a mock trial and was chosen to be executed in place of a murderer. The injustice and irony of the situation is written in blazing color. His entire life was dedicated to blessing others. It is amazing; He who did no wrong was crucified for sinners.

A represents All-knowing
It is wonderful to recognize that Christ knows everything. He knows us individually. He knows and has felt every pain man can suffer.

With that knowledge, He is able to comfort us in ways that are not possible for other human beings. He knows how it feels to lose a loved one.

He knows what it feels like to be abandoned by those you love. If we want to be like Him, we must endeavor to develop our ability to feel empathy for others and love them, not just on a superficial level.

S stands for our Savior
Even before Christ was born in Bethlehem, He was the Great I Am. He spoke to Moses, Abraham and Noah.

He has always had our best interests at heart. He did not come into the world in a time when life would be easy for Him. He did not choose to come into a castle to be coddled and caressed with riches. He came into the world in the lowliest of circumstances so even the homeless could not brag that He did not understand their plight.

He did not come in a time when he could travel from place to place in a Lear jet or a Mercedes. He did not have carpet on the floor or food in the pantry. He came in the worst of circumstances.

He came in a time when people were cruel and barbaric enough to hang Him on a cross and drive nails into his flesh. Why? He wanted all to know that charity is an action word, and that we can surmount all things.

He has overcome the world, and so can we, if we turn to Him. He is our mirror and, if we try, we can be His reflection. We can change the world, by being a peacemaker.

When we sing the carols to Christmas, let us remember the character of Christ, and try to be like Him. Merry Christmas! PD

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