What is Christmas to you?
What is the real spirit of Christmas?
I grew up in a country where Christmas is one of the most awaited seasons of the year. I imagine a new dress, new shoes, and many goodies from my "ninang"(godmother) and "ninong"(godfather) and of course from my parents. I am always excited to see the lanterns hang on the windows in different homes. Everywhere you see people are so busy decorating their homes for Christmas.
You will hear the Christmas songs played in the karaoke bars, carolers singing jingle bells especially the kids. One of the things I missed was saving coins during Christmas for the kids.
But it was so different here in America. I guess it is just the cultural difference. But regardless of race, the meaning and the spirit of Christmas is one, and that is, the birth of the Messiah, the prince of Peace, the Lord and Savior, the one that is promised in the book of the prophets in the Old Testament which was fulfilled in the New Testament.
Jesus is the message
The real message of Christmas is not on the gifts and material things we have. When you go to the mall it is very seldom that you will hear people say "Merry Christmas!" They will say happy holidays!
Where is the essence then of calling this season as "Christmas?" It is true that we will not find the word "Christmas" in the bible. But we will find the scripture telling us the birth of the Messiah, Emmanuel, which is being interpreted, "God with us, " a name of Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer. That is why we celebrate "Christmas." That is exactly the meaning of it. A celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world. And if we do not have the freedom to express ourselves even greeting each other with a "Merry Christmas" we lost the meaning and the spirit of this most wonderful historical event, the birth of the Messiah.
The fulfillment of the promise-Messiah
Let me ask you a real quick question, "Do you have the real spirit of Christmas?" Can you feel its presence in your homes? Can you see its beauty and splendor in your Christmas tree? Can you see it in the gifts you wrapped for your friends and cards you sent to your family circles and friends? Dear brothers and sisters, the real message and blessings of Christmas is the child who was born in the manger, in one cold night in Bethlehem. He was the "Word" that is promised in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." He was the fulfillment of God's promise which was confirmed in John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." And his name is Jesus Christ.
That is Christmas! The salvation of mankind!
I am also thinking those people who could not even have food for Christmas, people who do not have peace in their hearts, people who could not even forget and forgive a grudge against a family member, and people who are full of bitterness.
The greatest gift
Jesus Christ, the son of the living God is the joy to the world. He is the light of the world. His nativity is being celebrated every December. Would it be so nice and heartwarming if our hearts is decorated with love? Love as we know is the greatest of all virtues. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church of Corinth said in 1 Cor. 13:1-13:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clashing cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I give away all my possessions to feed the poor, and though I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind; love does not envy; love does not boast, is not puffed up; does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil; does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things... Love never fails...And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. "
Without love on Christmas, our preparations for the season would be meaningless. We might have the most expensive and most beautiful Christmas tree, beautiful things we thought would honor the occasion, but without love towards our neighbor and the needy, it has no meaning to God. "For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son."(John 3:16)
Jesus did not come and clothed as a king, though he is the King of Kings. He choose instead to be born in the manger that is to show us that if the Messiah, the Lord and Savior was born as a lowly one, how much more for us people, his creation to be as humble and compassionate as he is.
Let us celebrate Christmas with a joyful heart. Let us open ourselves for forgiveness and giving. Let us glorify the name of the Lord God Jesus Christ on this yuletide season. The real spirit of Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Messiah which the scripture says "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11 NKJV)
In Jesus Christ, we find more gifts than our hearts can ever imagine. He is joy, peace, and everything we hoped for.
“For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body." (Colossians 2:9 NLT)
So for us Christians, Christmas or not, Jesus is always in our hearts. Amen!
Glory to God in the highest! Merry Christmas!
Is there any bigger than the love of God? How much our Abba Father love us? So much that He gave His only begotten son. And nothing can separate us from this love.
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