Popular Posts

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Gift beyond Description

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. The infant Jesus is our living, breathing sign of the immeasurable love.that God has had for all of us from the very beginning. Christmas is the living promise that we are never ever alone.  

No matter where we are in life, no matter in what condition we find ourselves, no matter how far we might 
stray away, or how unfaithful we are, God, the supreme lover, will pursue us in love for eternity! It’s a love
 that never stops shining. Christmas is the beginning of a classic love story with all the right Ingredients: 
 infatuation, pursuit, risks and relationship...A joyous celebration cannot be found at that Mall or a party or even under a tree.  The main focus of Christmas must be sought carefully and diligently.  He is found at   a lowly stable in Bethlehem.

The foundation of Christmas goes back much further. It starts in the first book of the Bible—Genesis. The initial reference to the birth of Jesus is in Genesis 3:15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The prediction of the Virgin Birth (seed of a woman) of Jesus came immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. Though they were sentenced to die, God in His mercy gave a promise of redemption through the one who would be born of a virgin—Jesus Christ.

Back in Genesis, the bad news of Adam’s sin was punishable by death ( Genesis 2:17. Romans 6:23 Confirms that the wages of sin is death. Adam and Eve sinned, so something had to die to cover that sin. 
This is why God killed animals to cover Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:21). Although we don’t know what animals were sacrificed, we have often pictured it as a lamb as a foreshadowing of the Gospel. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the final sacrifice to cover peoples” sins on the Cross.

Historically, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Theologically, Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of God in Jesus, the self-revelation of God to the world in human form for the reconciliation of humanity to Himself. Traditionally Christmas a time of wonder and joy, of generosity and peace that brings family and friends together in celebration and we observe the holy traditions that make the season captivating. Usually we are so preoccupied with the celebration that we forget the celebrant. But the Celebrant is more important than the celebration because the Celebrant is the cause for the celebration. Jesus is the center of Christmas and He is the reason for the season.

The Christmas story begin in the little town of Bethlehem in Israel over 2,000 years ago, a baby was born whose life was destined to affect countless millions. The origin and purpose of Christmas is presented beautifully in the Biblical account of Gospel of Luke.  In those days the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This meant that families had to register in their historical tribal town rather than where they lived. So Joseph and the very pregnant Mary would have had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as this was town that Joseph's family, originally came from - a journey of about 112 kilometers. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Lord Jesus came to a stable, and was laid in a manger. His mother had only the straw for a bed.

The world knew not of His birth. Work went on as usual. Cathedral bells failed to toll; bands were silent; no royal choruses burst forth in song. Only the music of Heaven was heard. In fact, God had to arrange a welcome for Himself, and legions of angels circled the skies and heralded His birth. “Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

The birth of Jesus in a little town of Bethlehem forever changed the history of the world. This was not an ordinary birth! The remarkable signal and subsequent proceedings were the evidence that Jesus Christ is the most unique personality ever lived in all history. The Old Testament prophets predicted his coming.  The Angel Gabriel announced His arrival. The Angelic host sang a chorus for Him.  The brightest star marked His presence.  The Wise men came to worship Him. The Shepherds came to honor Him.  The Priests knew from the Scripture that He was coming. Jerusalem was troubled at His coming.  Simeon, the just and wise man in the Jerusalem temple took Jesus in his arms and blessed God and said “Lord….my eyes have seen your salvation…which you have prepared before the face of all people. Rulers like Herod the king learned of His birth and became fearful and afraid. Anger filled their hearts. Murder was conspired and executed. Fearful of losing their power, they sought his death by every possible means. Demons trembled. Satan became enraged. All hell was allied against Him. But God was watching and He lived in spite of all.

Jesus was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred and hypocrisy prevailed upon the land. The rulers were arrogant and unrighteous. The people were materialistic, indolent and heedless. Purity was forgotten. Morality was neglected. They were intent upon worshipping affluence than adoring God. Those conditions of darkness; impurity and materialism that prevailed before the coming of Christ signify the inner state of man’s heart .There has no fear of God or hunger for spiritual life. People were immersed in the pursuit of the material things. If this state of things must cease and if we must enter into a new life of spiritual aspiration, purity and devotion, then the Christ-spirit must take its birth within our heart. That is the real Christmas when the Divine constituent begins to express itself in the heart of the man. From then onward, light begins to shine where darkness was before. Ignorance gives place to the beginning of wisdom. Impurity is replaced by purity. Hatred ceases and love begins to blossom forth.

Jesus is the central figure of all history and was the greatest missionary of all time. In fact, He left heaven and His exalted position there to come down to earth on the greatest mission trip of all time. His mission was to redeem the earth and save mankind from the fatal results of Adams fall. He stayed long enough to finish the work of redemption. However, His coming into the world was not the beginning of Jesus. He was the word that was in the beginning. He came from eternity. He always was and is eternal God. He came from glory, the glory that was before the world ever was (John 17:5). He temporarily laid aside His glory and took a body, through the Virgin Mary, to live in long enough to die for the sins of the world.

Napoleon Bonaparte said "I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius upon force. Jesus Christ founded His Empire on love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him." 

Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been surpassed. No other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers. People who encounter the risen Christ are totally transformed. Their outlook on life is altered forever. Staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death. Many devote their lives to serving others, minimizing their own needs and desires.”

The true meaning of Christmas is God came to be with us in a way that totally identified Himself with us, as human beings. Jesus birth was the incarnation of God on earth, opening the door to new hope and eternal life. Nobody has changed the world the way Jesus has.He was not a man who became God, which is impossible, but God who became a man. So why did Jesus come to earth as God in human form? Was it to give us the ultimate teachings ever? No. Though they were the greatest teachings ever given, He came here for more than that. Did Jesus come to set the perfect example of how a man or woman should live? He came to do that and much more. Did Jesus walk this earth merely to do miracles and heal people? While He always reached out to people in need, that was not His primary purpose..C. S. Lewis said it well: "The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God." God became a man so that you might become God's child. Now that is true Christmas and something worth celebrating.

Right at the heart of Christmas laid the central purpose of God - which made all the difference in the world.. Christmas stands for the presence of God with us (Immanuel) to meet the pressures of life as they come to us day by day. When our hopes crush, & dreams collapse, the Grace and Love of Jesus is designed to relieve and to bring hope to us. And the result  is life everlasting, peace instead of restlessness, acceptance rather than guilt, love in place of lust or hate, power to replace weakness, joy for mourning, beauty for ashes, hope for despair, courage in place of cowardice, and cleansing from all dirt and filth of spirit. Hence Jesus Christ is worshipped by countless millions and untold multitudes are looking forward to the time when he will come again according Hs promise. He is the mightiest of all the mighty, the savior of the world and God incarnate. He worked a transformation in the lives of people. He gave a new and a spiritual turn to the lives of man. There came a change upon the land. People started upon a new way of life. Thus a new era dawned for the world.

Jesus said Let your light shine before men  that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, the one in the heavens” (Matt. 6:16).  . Christmas is a time to appreciate what God has done for us in Christ, time for thanksgiving and remembering God’s goodness.  Christmas is a time for hope, peace and reconciliation. In John gospel 3:16, a Christmas message and it has something to do with the manifestation of the greatest love and the greatest gift the world ever seen. God is giving his only Son to the world. Christmas becomes more meaningful when we give than when we expect to receive. 

Remember, It Is the Lord’s birthday we are celebrating. The true spirit of Christmas is Christ-spirit must take its birth within our heart. That is the real Christmas when we  accept Christ as our personal savior and Lord and  dedication to serve those in need, to giving hope to those in despair, and to spreading Love, peace, joy and message of hope  in the world.  Jesus is the light of the world and he is our living, breathing sign of the immeasurable love that God has had for all of us from the very beginning.  It’s a love that never stops shining. May the Blessings of our Lord Jesus with His Peace, the Beauty of Hope, the Spirit of Love, the Comfort of Faith, be your gifts always and in all your ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment