Monday, June 24, 2024

It is Christmas

January 5, 2024 by  
Filed under Highlights

BY DARRYL L. FORTSON, M.D. 

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’” — Matthew 22:36-40 

It is Christmas — a time for family, friends, food, and good cheer. But ultimately, for those who believe it to be so, it is a day celebrating the birth of the hope of access to eternal peace, love, and joy. It is the day long foretold, when a blessed Savior would be born to the world to salvage humanity from destruction everlasting. 

Shelia and I moved to Las Vegas in stages in the heat of the summer of 2015, during which a truck arrived from my former residence in Indiana containing most of our belongings. I was alone to unload the entirety of the tractor trailer. 

But Christ was born. He set an example. He spoke of how to live and then He lived that way. Many died for it. Many are dying now for it around the world. Others learned His Word and lived His way, and on and on it went — from Judea to Rome and beyond, and then to America, and then to my neighbor Chris Wilcox who, having never laid eyes on me before, asked me if I needed help, went home, changed his clothes, and helped me unload the truck. When the second truck came, he brought his son-in-law along. Eventually, I would have gotten the truck unloaded by myself. What I would not have gotten, however, was the demonstration of Christ’s love for a neighbor, and I needed that more than the help. 

Since Shelia and I have been here, we have gathered together in the street, visited, seen renovations, and welcomed new life and new neighbors. One of our neighbors faced a life-threatening illness and has overcome it. We have buried a neighbor, and a dear friend and business partner. We buried my father, and several high school friends and other family before their time. 

But Christ was born — the hope for all mankind, the good news in the Good News. Don’t lose sight of this in the midst of the melancholy when thinking of those no longer with us. We can have eternal life now and those we have lost who believed in the Christ child now do. We can overcome. We can change for the better, and we have access to joy that “surpasseth all understanding” because of that baby Jesus. 

Think about what you can do, what lives you can touch, what gospel you can share, to give God His due honor and help people to know that His power, His love, and His goodness is demonstrably present in this world. That’s what my neighbor Chris did — and we thank him. 

Merry Christmas! 

Darryl L. Fortson, MD practices at Park Hill Family Medicine in Las Vegas (702-444-7796). He is also Executive Director of AASRT, Inc. (www.theaasrt.org).

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