Right in the centre - O’ come let us adore him!


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Editor’s note: Hundreds of papers run the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” story at this time of year. If that children’s story can be re-run over many decades, then I don’t apologize for a column re-run. I think this is one of the best of the over 1,600 columns I have ever written and with it, I wish you and yours all the best for Christmas and 2022. Ken Waddell

The familiar strains of this hymn of the Christian church is well known around the world. The words and music have implored millions of listeners to come and adore the Baby Jesus and to follow him. The name Jesus means “saviour”or “rescuer”.

The birth of Jesus was predicted for centuries in the Jewish faith. It also marked the end of the Old Testament, or old covenant, and the beginning of New Testament, or new covenant. Traditionally, the New Testament implores people to accept Jesus as Saviour from their sin. A person who accepts Jesus as Saviour is known as a Christian.

So countries that have a lot of Christians living in them became known as Christian countries. Actually, a country can’t be a Christian, only individuals can become Christian, one at a time, by way of a personal faith in and commitment to Christ. That said, it is indeed sad that countries that are home to millions who profess Christ don’t govern according to Christian teaching. What a fantastic statement it would be if Canada, the United States and Great Britain practised what their citizens preached!

Let me explain. Christ’s teachings say that accepting Him as Saviour is to be followed by a policy of loving your neighbour as yourself. 

If countries truly lived a Christian lifestyle, they might well have as strong a military as is affordable, but actions would, as much as possible, be limited to defending their country from attack. I will not pass judgement on any previous wars or leaders of their day, but how much better would it be if we resolved to avoid attacking another nation?

On the home front, as tough as it might be to stomach, should a Christian country have the death penalty? Should we not put offenders in jail for as long as they live if they commit horrible, violent crimes? It’s pretty hard to say “love thy neighbour” and then kill them to penalize a crime. Let’s move down the scale a bit. Shouldn’t a Christian country avoid torturing war prisoners? Aren’t some of our police interrogation tactics of people under arrest a bit suspect? Would it not be the Christian thing to do to clamp down on crime, so we can save more people from the effects of crime, but do we have to abuse them as we enforce our laws?

Isn’t it time that we quit apologizing to our First Nations people and actually spend our time and money on helping communities get ahead? How long will it be before we follow Jesus’s teaching that said we should offer “a cup of water?” In Canada, we can’t even get clean water to all our communities.

Is there any room for racism or discrimination in a Christian country? I think not.

There is another side to the coin as well. It is also a Christian teaching that people need to do as much as they can to help themselves, so they can provide for themselves and their families. We are all supposed to help ourselves so that out of the abundance of God’s blessings, we are enabled to help others.

Christmas reminds us of our need for Christ and how blessed we can be. If Christ’s teachings show up clearly in our lives, hopefully they will translate into better conduct as a nation.

May everyone and every country ponder what would happen when we “come and adore Him.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.