Again, it’s December and lots of holidays is just around the corner. Almost everybody seems to be very busy in preparation of glittering decors, new clothes, expensive material presents, blissful celebrations and so on. Many people celebrate Christmas season in this time. It is in the air! Too many parties and get togethers are there! For some, this is the time to double or even triple their money in terms of profits and investments. Loyal consumers and buyers enjoy the opportunity of obtaining gifts, gifts and more gifts from suppliers (who doesn’t want it anyway?) Ako rin penge! (smiles) Songs for caroling were played most of the time in the surroundings, well…, also especially in the Philippines. Malls are very crowded and stocks of toys for young and old alike seems not enough. Christmas is turned into a buying fest in many places. Commercialism at its best. It’s a breakout of spree visible in different activities, whether in shopping, drinking, eating, gaining and more. Enchanting shows being announce and publicize everyday. At wag mong kalimutan to glimpse at almost every house, Christmas trees with bright, blinking and glowing lights visible in every corner. Kahit nga yung ibang mga relihiyon seems to be somewhat extremely in celebration mode divah? Smiles are present from faces of many people who seem to be solidly & extra nice to everyone. (trying at least! Hmmn…, I hope not only for the gifts) Haays! It seems that one can be enticed to display things extravagantly for this merry season.
Religions (too many of them nowadays) traditionally celebrate this season by pointing us to the charming story of the Baby. And I love that story!, a Baby known to be King of kings and Lord of lords but was denied of a decent room…, was born in a manger….and with the animals. Luxury this season? Think again. Quite an example shown here against world standards. Knowing the story somehow make us sentimental. But sadly, many people just stop there.
The great story of the Savior is just reduced to a baby story this season and unfortunately some even invented a Santa Claus story of gift giving to replace it. The genuine changes that comes with the Savior’s life message is rarely seen and felt from an individual who celebrates the virgin birth. Perhaps…, because we just celebrate a part of His story in our lives or we are too preoccupied with the blissfulness of the celebration that we forget the greatness of the Celebrant, who by the way did not remain a baby in the manger. He grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom. His life became the most powerful people converter and healer. History is His story!
A true story of life that can guide and strengthen everyone to go through the tears, heaviness and trickery in this world. His words are like double edged sword that can divide soul and spirit. He taught, touched and comforted many who approached Him. With all His humility and kindness, people still made Him suffer agonizingly and humiliated till death, Yes! He died too, a very painful and shameful death on the cross designed for hardened criminals. Lest we forget, He has a choice to skip that as a hurting person those days but instead, willingly uttered the words “Not my will but thy will be done.” and submitted Himself to the punishment for sinners, yet knew no sin. He completely manifest and show the true meaning of His unconditional love. And that everyone could possibly understand that Christmas is not about gifts from fat, white bearded man nor having that external glittering decors on a tree present in our house nor new gadgets to brag about. Hmmm…., It’s far more than serving one’s senses. It truly goes beyond that….because this is the time when the all powerful and holy Creator reach out his sinless hand to the sinful creatures like us, by offering the very life of His dear Son. This was the beginning of that great sacrifice!
This is the most remarkable moment in history where the One who is larger than the universe became a microscopic embryo, the omnipotent instantly became flesh and blood, left His deity in heaven and chose to become a person, with same range of feelings and weaknesses just as we are…, yet wasn’t tempted, yet lived obediently and yet sinless throughout his life. He was offered for the payment of debt He did not owe. He did it with great compassion to provide those who will accept Him as Lord and Savior…forgiveness and liberty from the clout of sin. (Does it sounds lent to you?, huh?)
This is what Christians celebrate, not the baby part story only but the complete revelation of His goodness in its truest meaning. The fullness of joy knowing that Christ, the author and finisher of faith, has conquered death. Oh yes! He lives and claimed victory to be shared for those who would choose to receive Him. So let Him occupy that special room in our heart now! And keep Him there everyday to fill it up so that Christmas maybe felt and enjoyed by ourselves and other people as well for the whole year round. For we can only celebrate meaningfully, and be able to truly give love on Christmas day if we are immensely full of Him.
It is only as we see the birth of Jesus in light of His crucifixion and resurrection that we are able to grasp the full meaning of Christ coming. Friends and beloved! THIS IS CHRISTMAS!! Let us celebrate the season with a new and deeper perspective, along with our new life in Christ!
Have a Christ-centered Christmas everyone! LOVE and PEACE!
For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
*CTTO : All photos credit to the owner.*