Yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus - that's why we do Christmas
YES, Virginia, there is a Jesus.
He was born in a crappy stable in Bethlehem and went on to change the course of history.
And he wasn't just a good bloke.
He said he represented one greater - one who made the heavens and the Earth. One who had wisdom and decency and understanding way beyond mankind. And he was a living picture of God himself.
Oh how I wish I were like Jesus. And I try, Virginia, I really try.
But his goodness is such that I can't measure up.
Let me give you an example. I am writing this in the comfort of my solid home. I've just had a good meal and a nice glass of Brown Bros cabernet sauvignon. Nice drop.
Somewhere near me, and somewhere far away, people are hurting - they are poor, they have no food. I give some money to help them but in truth I'm doing nothing. I am not decent, nor righteous in any sense of the word.
Jesus wasn't like that. He did good. He knew I wouldn't do the same but he loved me anyway - even died to pay the price for my shortcomings.
That's why I love Christmas, Virginia. It brings man and God together.
It gives me the hope to keep trying to be better than I am.
People will tell you not to believe. They will say to only believe what they can show you. And yet they can't hold back the unseen forces of the tide. They are powerless against a storm.
In the words of a colleague on the New York Sun who wrote to you on a different issue way back in 1897: "They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge."
Virginia, Jesus came back to life after he was killed. No one else can do that.
He went up to Heaven, which is a place of goodness and peace, to argue my case in front of God - you know, to tell him I am a follower and I'm with him.
That gives me the courage to keep trying even when I make mistakes - to aim to do better next time.
And Jesus said he'd come back - personally, I can't wait.
Mind you, he warned some bad stuff would happen on Earth first. Seems he was right.
Virginia, if you read the comments on this letter you'll likely see some very nasty thoughts. Attacks on me, attacks on God.
But that's okay ... Jesus said that would happen and he still loves these people.
That's what this time of year is all about, Virginia. Love and grace that, if we are to be honest, none of us deserves.
Merry Christmas, Virginia. I hope you'll believe.