Now is that time of the year again where we celebrate one of the most joyous events in the Christian Church’s calendar. Like in the previous years, we try to focus on the reason for the season – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Christians, we try to remind our friends and loved ones to focus our celebration on the unconditional love of God the Father on all humanity,that is why He has sent His only begotten Son to save mankind from the grips of death and from the power of sin and the devil.
Yes, Christmas is the time of the year when Jesus Christ was born in a lowly manger to a commoner – a carpenter and his wife. Imagine, the Son of God, born in a manger – a far cry from what is supposed to be a kingly birth for a true King.
We often say, “let us focus on Christ while we celebrate Christmas”. But what exactly should we celebrate about this Christmas season? What does Christ’s birth tell us? It tells us a variety of things, actually.
First of all, it tells us of God the Father’s love for all of us. No father would ever put His children in harm’s way. This is why He sent Christ to live among us, and die on the cross to save all of us – His distressed children.
Second, Christ showed humility when He was born on Christmas day. The King of Kings allowing himself to be born in a manger is a showcase of Christ’s humbleness, that even if He was the Son of God, He was willing to be at the lowest point of His life to be able to serve His purpose in coming to earth, and that is to bring us all up back to the right relationship with the Father in heaven.
Third, the season highlights Christ’s obedience to the Father. This message of Christmas is often overlooked. The fact that Christ was to be born a man, though at the same time God, and be a sacrificial lamb for your sake and mine, and for the sake of all humanity, is the perfect manifestation of obedience. And through His obedience, even to the point of death, we have come to enjoy eternal life now and forever.
Fourthly, Christmas is all about giving. God unconditionally gave up His Son for us by sending Him on Christmas Day. The wise men, sensing that the child laying in the manger that night, was someone who was promised of old, the King who will save His people, gave their best gifts to Jesus as a gesture of praise and thanksgiving for His birth. For us now, let it be a reminder, Jesus was the greatest gift given this Christmas day.
Finally, on this occasion, we will also remember Jesus’ second coming to judge the living and the dead. Nobody likes to talk about the judgment day on Christmas. Yes, we shop for gifts, cook the most delicious food, and party. But as Christians, let us take time to ponder and ask the question if we are ready for Jesus’ coming back.
Yes, we like to think of Christmas as a fun-filled holiday. But let us pause for a while and examine ourselves more seriously. Are we as excited about His birth as about His second coming?
We thank God for His love, through Christ. We cherish Christ’s humility and His obedience, his dying on the cross and rising from the dead, but let us not forget that Jesus, whose birth we are celebrating, is coming. Let this season be a season not only of giving and thanksgiving…but also of joyfully expecting His second coming.
Merry Christmas to everyone…
Rev. Antonio D. Reyes, LCP President