Pessimism or Praise?

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

“Like all intelligent people, I greatly dislike Christmas.” George Bernard Shaw wrote these words on this day in 1893 in an article for London’s “The World.”

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1856, Shaw became a famous socialist, political activist, and music critic. After failing as a novelist, he increasingly turned to writing plays. He is best remembered for “Pygmalion,” the basis for the musical/movie, “My Fair Lady.”

Shaw often dealt with religious subjects, but with a very cynical tone. His 1905 production of “Man and Superman” expounded a philosophy that humanity is evolving toward ever-higher life forms. In this play he wrote, “A lifetime of happiness: no man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.” How sad!

And Shaw really hated Christmas. In that 1893 article, he commented how “revolting” it was to “see a whole nation” given to a spirit “of a ghastly general pretence of festivity. It is really an atrocious institution, this Christmas.”

Although Shaw knew a lot about formal religion, he never seemed to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus, or a personal faith.

In contrast, the shepherds who saw Jesus in the manger were uneducated men, certainly not as intelligent as Shaw. Nevertheless they experienced another dimension of life that Shaw and others have never understood. For these men didn’t just hear about the angels, but they actually witnessed their appearance. They actually saw the baby Jesus and, reacting with awe and wonder, entered into real praise and worship.

Today the world may be filled with problems. Skeptics and critics all around may raise questions and spread doubts. But how wonderful, how refreshing, how life-changing simply to come into the presence of the Lord. To ponder His goodness! To revel in His mercies! To be filled with faith! To worship Him!