By:Robert J. Tamasy
「太初有道，道與 神同在，道就是 神。這道太初與 神同在。萬物是藉著他造的；凡被造的，沒有一樣不是藉著他造的。生命在他裏頭，這生命就是人的光。光照在黑暗裏，黑暗卻不接受光。」(約翰福音1章1-5節)「道成了肉身，住在我們中間，充充滿滿地有恩典有真理。我們也見過他的榮光，正是父獨生子的榮光。」(約翰福音1章14節)
在 Dr. Paul Brand 和 Philip Yancey 合著的書「在祂的形象裡」(In His Image註1) 寫到，當耶穌來到這個世界，他成為那位眼睛看不見、無限大的、無法言喻，神的顯現。耶穌告訴他的門徒說，看到他就是看到神。當時很多宗教領袖把他的言論看成非常可恥的異端，但是耶穌的確是這樣說的。
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」（The Heart of Mentoring）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com
耶誕節對你的意義是什麼？ 從你的觀點來看，工商業界人士是如何看待耶誕節的呢？你自己個人的看法又是如何呢？ 你是如何看待聖經裡所描述耶穌的誕生和他的一生呢？ 假設耶穌沒有降生，也沒有耶誕節，你認為今天的世界將會是什麼樣子的呢？若你想要看或討論聖經中有關此主題的其他經文，請看以下經節：馬太福音1章18節-2章18節；路加福音 1章26-56節、2章1-20節
CONSIDERING THE BUSINESS OF CHRISTMAS
By Robert J. Tamasy
What does Christmas mean to you?
This question is often asked this time of year, and answers are remarkably diverse. Some focus on the fun part of the season – parties, family gatherings, gift giving, good will toward others and happy music. Others think of endless preparations, such as cooking meals, preparing the home for visitors, putting up Christmas trees and decorations, the challenge of finding the right gifts and wrapping them. For millions, the real meaning of Christmas is to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, for whom the holiday is named.
For much of the business world of course, particularly in retail, Christmas means profits and the bottom line. Retail establishments of all sizes – department stores, clothing stores, children”s and jewelry stores, toy stores, even drug stores and grocery stores – anticipate sizable boosts during the year-end Christmas season. The same applies increasingly to online businesses, poised to ship goods of all kinds to meet the holiday needs of their customers. For both physical and virtual businesses, this season often serves as the boundary between black and red ink on the balance sheets.
For business and professional people, Christmas can mean one thing at work, while from a personal standpoint it can mean something different. So again the question: What does Christmas mean to you?
For those that believe the Bible, the answer must involve the Christ child, whose birth is celebrated at this time of year regardless of when it actually occurred on the calendar. The gospels of Matthew and Luke describe this birth in detail, but perhaps the gospel of John, without referring specifically to the events of Jesus” arrival in Bethlehem, explains its significance most clearly:
“In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not understand it…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us… (John 1:1-5,14).
As authors Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey wrote in their book, In His Image, when Jesus entered the world He became “the visible, finite expression of the invisible, infinite, inexpressible God.” Jesus told His followers that to see Him was to see God. Many religious leaders of the time viewed such a statement as an outrageous heresy, but that was what Jesus claimed.
At Christmas, followers of Christ commemorate His birth, but it doesn”t stop there. Jesus spent 33 years on earth as a teacher, mentor, model for living, and finally, the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Without Jesus” death on the cross – and His resurrection – this holiday we call Christmas would be meaningless. The world of commerce might have invented a similar observance to boost annual sales, but without Christ there truly could be no Christmas.
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. He has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress), and most recently edited When “Want To” Becomes “Have To!” by Gary Highfield. For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
What does Christmas mean to you? How does the perspective of Christmas that you observe in the business and professional world compare to your personal view? When you think of the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ and his life, what reactions do you have? Suppose Jesus had not been born, and there in fact was no Christmas – or any reason for it. What difference do you think that would make for life and work today?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Matthew 1:18-2:18; Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-20