Christmas Day Is About More Than Just Gifts

Father Edward Beck and others discuss the real meaning of this sacred day.
4:49 | 12/25/11

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Transcript for Christmas Day Is About More Than Just Gifts
And homes across America this morning people are evaluating the quality and quantity of -- gifts but there is a porch of course a much larger meaning to this day which is why. We have -- -- -- this panel of spiritual leaders let me start with ambassador doctor Susan Johnson cook -- the US ambassador. At large for religious freedom and doctor reverend doctor serene Jones from Union Theological Seminary president. And do you recognize this guy father Edward Beck who is ABC news consultant. Host of the Sunday mass on AB on ABC channel and ABC family channel I should say and the author of sole provider spiritual steps. Who limitless -- there's -- right there. They too awful coming in and Merry Christmas and it's great to have you here thank -- So let's start would be. Reason for the season. We get very focused on Black Friday Cyber Monday at center etc. I know you. Don't buy gifts and give gifts at this time here. Why is that and what do you say to your parishioners about how to stay focused on what this is supposed to be all -- Because sometimes if I wanna be very esoteric. I Begin with -- by quoting GK test Chester time. He is a great quote where he says a religion that defies the world needs a feast that defies winter. You know Christmas. Is that -- -- say in the darkest time of the year. Light comes into the world and you still waiting for this messiah. And who comes a homeless refugee mean this is the kind of god we're talking about who cannot really. To that kind of got -- -- got -- so distant. God doesn't -- -- got -- part of my life. A homeless refugee comes and says I'm going to bring you peace I'm gonna bring new meaning. Mean that to me as a wonderful story of helping people to connect with their own lives and own experience. Stay on this Christmas morning. Is it okay to be spending some time enjoying some of the material goods beneath the tree or is that a distraction. I think it's great to enjoy them but that can't be the whole season. If we can get to why we give gifts -- of the blessings we received the bounty from a god who chose to send his son among us. And now we want to share in the gift to -- -- about the bounty and so we extend its other people. That's great. Gonna get out about it the -- -- to the Christ outfits were brought so. It is our -- -- -- that the marriage and it's appropriate for its and the gathering time it's time to reflect. That giving it's not just for this one season but this year amounts of their gifts beyond what's under the speaking outside the gift of service but it's what we didn't think that. -- Jesus came to bring peace to the world joy to the world and there are many that don't have that so. For me you know religious freedom and diversity is important and felt we bring the gift of service -- this Christmas time and around the world because many can't celebrate the season. Certainly as you would question. This time of year we ask this question last year when you were -- here. This time of -- people are suffering known. Deeply especially with the economy that's been going on for years now what do you say to people who cannot feel cheerful on this that. Well the most important thing you have to do is acknowledge that and not have -- solution that for every -- misses a joyful holiday. He went to acknowledge that and you go back and think about the Christmas story which you were talking about a Manger. A homeless. Mother a child. I mean this is not a story of someone celebrating the bounty of the universe some story of suffering people. To tumor miracle comes and it's -- a recession are mangers are everywhere in this country. In some -- -- -- hopeful story. There's an awful story that light came in the midst of the dot placing the team never lose sight that there is light and that we must -- that wherever we -- out. For us there are many if she says what's happening there refugees around the world. We're hoping that this Christmas that we continue to pray for advocates for -- that everyone will be able to celebrate whenever they believe. But the -- and we celebrate Jesus Christ but we want everyone to have the right to believe what they. To help them Manger and what is a Manger it's a -- trough you have the son of god placed in a feeding trough. This child is going to be food for the world food for your hungry heart. Mean that's the Christmas message that mean we didn't -- now by god and also that Manger is a barn. I mean this is not the main house this is not the fancy hotel this is not even the nice apartment this is outside in the back. Where no one else would live for this is happening weighing on the margin. Good to keep that in mind as we open our ipads on the -- yeah Christmas morning. I want to thank you all -- -- we had more time -- we don't -- -- such a pleasure to have you here on this Christmas morning and let me just remind everybody who's been speaking with us this morning father Edward back. -- doctor serene Jones and doctor Susan Johnson cook thank you all once again thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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