Yes, Virginia, He Is Real After All

By on December 1, 2011

By Janelle Alberts –

I love the bombardment of this season’s cheery props – Advent wreaths and Christmas trees and chimney stockings and of course there’s that guy who, after all this time, kids still wonder, “Is He real?”

You know. Jesus.

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I remember as a child, staring at the Nativity scene. The baby looked so snuggled in, usually on a bed of hay and all I could muster was: that’s gotta itch.

Adults would gush about the little guy, “Isn’t He marvelous? Don’t we love Him?”

I was not a child that adored babies. I remember playing the part of Mary in the Christmas pageant and Brian Strouth was Joseph. I gritted my teeth through the whole narration thinking, “Try to hold my hand, Strouth, and I’m clobbering you with this baby doll.”

After the school program, we watched an animated video about the 1897 New York Sun editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” I found the letter fascinating. The editorial writer, Francis Pharcellus Church said that those who didn’t believe in Santa had been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.

1897? You ain’t seen nothing yet, Francis.

I’d heard all my life about the controversy surrounding Christmas. A contaminated season thanks to too much commercialism! The entire holiday laden with stress and worry!

I could relate. Even as a child, I worried, worried, worried. I was scared a lot of the time. And I doubted that some baby in a manger could help.

I was a little older when I really brought these troubles to the Lord. I even started with Luke’s Christmas story, and then began flipping backwards through the Bible. Back before Jonah, before Moses, before Noah.

I landed on Adam. And Eve. And God scolding them both. And scolding a serpent that relentlessly tempted them.

Relentless. I could relate.

God told the serpent that the woman’s offspring would crush the serpent’s head.

The woman’s offspring? Jesus. Did He mean Jesus?

A Defender who would crush on my behalf. Blessed relief. Now! Let’s hear those sleigh-bells jingling!

It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Every Christmas, I get choked up thinking about how it all began. Peace on Earth. Crushing Defender. Same thing, right?

Perhaps not exactly. But if given the question about Jesus, I’d tell it to the little Virginias of the world much like Francis Pharcellus Church’s words, “Thank God! He lives, and He lives forever.”

Yes, Virginia. He is real after all.

 

Janelle Alberts spent her early career managing crisis communication needs for Microsoft, UPS and Wells Fargo. Alberts joined the Akron Beacon Journal online religion page in the summer of 2010. Alberts sets out in The Bible Book Club to observe the messaging strategy of one historical icon who is consistently quoted but inconsistently represented – God and His world’s best-selling book, the Bible. You can find Janelle at http://ohio.webfactional.com/faith_folly/.

About Janelle Alberts

Janelle Alberts spent her early career managing crisis communication needs for Microsoft, UPS and Wells Fargo. Alberts joined the Akron Beacon Journal online religion page in the summer of 2010. Alberts sets out in The Bible Book Club to observe the messaging strategy of one historical icon who is consistently quoted but inconsistently represented – God and His world’s best-selling book, the Bible. You can find Janelle at http://ohio.webfactional.com/faith_folly/.

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Yes, Virginia, He Is Real After All