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-President Obama Tells the Christmas Story at Tree Lighting

by Dr. D ~ December 5th, 2011


This is one occasion when President Obama came through big time. At the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, the President took the time to tell the original Christmas story and emphasize the central message of the season. A surprisingly inspirational message from a President who usually disappoints when it comes to faith. Here it is:

Remarks by the President at Lighting of the National Christmas Tree

        THE PRESIDENT:  It’s nice having your own band.  Please have a seat, everyone.  Merry Christmas!  Merry Christmas!

        Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for that introduction and for your hard work to preserve and protect our land and our water and our wildlife.  I also want to thank Minister Rogers for the beautiful invocation, as well as Neil Mulholland and everyone at the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service who helped put this outstanding event together.  I’d like to thank Carson Daly and Big Time Rush, and all of tonight’s performers for joining us to kick off the holiday season here at the White House.

        For 89 years, Presidents and Americans have come together to light the National Christmas Tree.  And this year is a special one.  This year, we have a brand new tree.  The last one stood here for more than 30 years — until we lost it in a storm earlier this year.  But we all know that this tradition is much larger than any single tree.  And tonight, once again, we gather here not simply to light some decorations, but to honor a story that lights the world.

       More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep.  But this was not just any child.  Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar.  He was a manifestation of God’s love for us.  And He grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful:  that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

        That teaching has come to encircle the globe.  It has endured for generations.  And today, it lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans.  No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season. 

        So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season, and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds.  In this season of hope, let’s help those who need it most –- the homeless, the hungry, the sick and shut in.  In this season of plenty, let’s reach out to those who struggle to find work or provide for their families.  In this season of generosity, let’s give thanks and honor to our troops and our veterans, and their families who’ve sacrificed so much for us.  And let’s welcome all those who are happily coming home.  (Applause.) 

        And this holiday season, let us reaffirm our commitment
        to each other, as family members, as neighbors, as Americans, regardless of our color or creed or faith.  Let us remember that we are one, and we are a family.

        So on behalf of Malia and Sasha and Michelle and our grandmother-in-chief, Marian — (laughter) — I wish you all the happiest holiday season, the merriest of Christmases.  God bless you all, and may God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.) …

Response: This is one of the very few moments when I have actually been proud of this President. Just a little over a week ago I was critical of President Obama for leaving God entirely out of his Thanksgiving message –totally dropping the ball on that occasion. To date, this President has been our most ‘secular’ President ever.

This time he surprisingly came through in a big way. What is really shocking is that the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is usually more oriented towards the more secular Christmas traditions and extensive religious statements are not really expected. Unlike Thanksgiving which is usually more ‘religious’ in nature and purpose.

Some will say that it’s just politics and there’s an election in 2012. However, I choose to accept the message as a gift of the season from this President to the entire nation.            *Top

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1 Response to -President Obama Tells the Christmas Story at Tree Lighting

  1. -Putting Christ and Merry back into the Christmas Season | CHARISMATICA

    […] the weekend I came across President Obama’s message during the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington DC. I think it was one of the very few times I was actually proud of this President. […]

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