The Christmas Message

Not everyone can do great things, but everyone can do small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

By Dr. Jim Ferguson
Every year Becky and I begin our annual pilgrimage through our stack of Christmas movies. Like Holiday music, these timeless movie classics help us to get in the Christmas spirit. It’s as if we’re visiting old friends and memories are rekindled.

Some contend that we are in danger of losing the “reason for the season” because of our increasingly secular state and commercialism. Actually, I think these problems of modernity demonstrate the necessity of the Christmas message.

In this era of relativism, there could not be a dramatic contrast between what is right (Christ) and what is wrong (Hamas). And yet Ivy League presidents, the Squad and many Progressive Democrats have trouble stating that genocide, sexual atrocities and kidnapping are wrong. Folks, it’s not hard to see the facade of relativism. That which is oppositional to the absolute goodness of God is wrong.

I’m proud of my advanced academic degree from the University of Tennessee. And I’m glad I was educated to think instead of being indoctrinated with the lies of wokeness and political correctness. My education wasn’t perverted by a so-called “elite” school group-think ideology.

Antisemitism and racism are wrong and can never be explained away or justified. The Ivy Leagues have shown their colors and destroyed their brand. They deserve to be “Bud-Lighted” along with all the supporters of the Hamas savages. And though I’ve seen Budweiser’s latest commercial attempt to rescue their brand, not even Peyton Manning can save Bud Light.

December 7th is a special day of remembrance for me. I’ve told the story before, but on that day in 1941, my father’s ship, the aircraft carrier Yorktown, was three days out of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. My Dad was a 22-year-old naval aviator and probably would have been killed in the attack because the Japanese were looking for carriers, but had to settle for battleships like the Arizona. As a result, I might never have been born.

The sense of what’s right is never in question with Frank Capra movies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And at this time of the year, I reflect on George Bailey and what he learned from the ingenious plan devised by his guardian angel, Clarence. Life is precious. I think about all that is lost because of untimely death. Even the word “untimely” is challenging.

I have a few early Christmas gifts and suggestions for you. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a timeless classic with many adaptations. Please try the 1999 movie starring Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge. Stewart is not over the top with his British elocution, but just enough to be authentic. And the movie captures 19th century London and the timeless story of a transformed soul.

And while I’m “gifting,” go to YouTube and listen to the hauntingly beautiful Christmas carol, “I Wonder as I Wander.” Fragments of the carol were collected by John Jacob Niles when he heard a waifish young girl performing the song in Murphy, North Carolina, in 1933. Next, search and listen to Nancy Wilson’s, “That’s What I Want for Christmas,” a non sacred homage to love and Christmas.

Lastly, I shamelessly offer some last-minute Christmas gift suggestions or stocking stuffers. My novels, “Mantis” and “Epiphany,” as well as a collection of my essays, “Well, What Did the Doctor Say?” are available at (James V. Ferguson MD books)!

I embrace both the sacred aspects of Christmas and the more secular, fun-filled activities of the Holidays. Why do we have to choose? Most of life is a continuum. Yes, there are rights and wrongs, but being kind, loving, and respectful of others and their traditions should not be debatable. And since there are many options for sacred Christmas Eve services, Santa Claus can keep his tight schedule.

America is perhaps the most pluralistic culture on earth with 330 million opinions. There may be billions of people in China, but diversity is not a characteristic, nor is divergence from group-think tolerated by the communist masters. Europe is having lots of problems from Muslim immigration which is causing cultural shock waves in their historically homogeneous populations.

Problems of a different nature are evident in Democrat sanctuary cities which are struggling to deal with the financial issues of supporting ILLEGAL aliens, which they assumed would be other people’s problems. You may be surprised to learn that “legal” immigration in America was closed for many years in the early 1900s to allow assimilation of European immigrants. The Democrat open border policy is a disaster and has set the stage for enmity between citizens and illegals. Assimilation means becoming an American citizen legally and learning English.

I believe humans are tribal and not inherently selfless. We can be made better with sufficient resources, laws, proper education and certainly religious precepts, but we are not perfectable. I doubt Mother Teresa would argue this point with me.

In 1943 Abraham Maslow outlined a hierarchy of human needs, often depicted as a pyramid. Physiological needs like food, water, and even air are preeminent and occupy the base. Above these basic needs come subsequent levels of safety, then belonging and love, esteem, cognitive needs such as creativity, aesthetic pursuits like beauty, self-actualization where someone reaches their full potential and finally transcendence with spiritual connection. I think about the poor people in Gaza, Ukraine, the horn of Africa, American ghettos, and countless other places where people can’t aspire to their full potential, let alone seek their Maker.

We live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect beings. I am blessed. And I know that I can’t fix the world’s problems. I don’t feel guilty about that. What I feel is thankfulness and the desire to do my best and my duty to God, country and those I love and serve. This is my modification of the Boy Scout pledge.

The Christ, whose birthday we are celebrating, said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” And wise men still seek and listen for His message.