You know when people send cards and gifts to one another, when you can find evergreen trees glittering with lights and ornaments in homes and stores, when people look forward to seeing a jolly white-bearded man in red suit named “Santa Claus”, what do you think is around the corner? Of course, almost everyone knows that Christmas is around the corner.
I sat down today and asked myself, what really is Christmas about? Christmas is generally the season and specifically the day when Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a Christian holiday. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago. It is a social and family holiday.
I say Christmas is celebrating the one Man who was to take away the sins of the world. Christmas is celebrating the one Man who was to bring salvation. Christmas is celebrating the birth of a child who was to bring redemption to the world. If Jesus were not born, we would not even be celebrating Christmas. If Jesus were not born, generations would have to contend with being separated from God forever.
I wonder what would have been the fate of man in this fallen world when God decides to judge man for all his sins. But thank God for Jesus who came to liberate us from sin and made us kings and priests before our God.
Let’s really analyse Christmas. Do you ever wonder why Mary of all people was chosen to fulfill Divine purpose? Do you ever wonder why God had to use Mary to bring Jesus into the world? After much thought and from what I read in the book of Luke, I discovered Mary was favoured by God, highly favoured of all the virgins in her time. If you know what it means for God to favour someone, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Mary was a virtuous lady, a virgin, pure in heart and God-fearing. She was willing to allow God use her as a vessel unto honour, despite the consequences of being labelled “pregnant before marriage”; at least, that was what the world saw and “knew”, they didn’t really know the mystery behind the pregnancy and the manner of Child that would be born. That was where God’s favour came in, she obeyed God and God lifted her up to where she never imagined. How you keep yourself, your obedience to God’s law and character really matters to God.
It is not all about how people see you or all about possessing everything or having all what the world has to offer. It is your integrity, your way of life, your responsiveness towards the things of the world that matters. And that was why Mary said in her song of praise, “He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly”. (Luke 1:52).
Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph the carpenter was betrothed to Mary when she announced to him that she was pregnant, unlike our generation, pregnancy before marriage was a taboo that even required stoning as the punishment for the offence. But the Bible let us know that Joseph was a just man who obeyed the laws of God.
Any other man would have dumped his would-be wife and publicly disgraced her but Joseph, loving her wanted to put her away secretly and save her the shame but God made him understand divine purpose. Joseph had to make a decision between his own plan and God’s plan and he chose God’s plan. What a sacrifice! Doing God’s will is not easy but be very sure that it is for your good and the good of others around you. God’s will is better than man’s will.
Dear reader, Christmas signifies obedience, sacrifice, goodwill, gift giving, sharing, caring, reunion, obedience to the will of God as exemplified by Mary even to the detriment of losing her betrothal and dignity for the greater good, sacrifice which stems from Joseph’s readiness to forsake his own plan for God’s plan to be revealed to the world and so on.
Christmas is doing something good for that neighbour of yours who cannot afford anything, that family going through some form of difficulty… Jesus was not lucky enough to be born in the inn but you can make room for someone today in your inn. Don’t leave them cold out there, wandering till they get to a lowly manager. Gift giving which somewhat represents the biblical story of the wise men presenting gifts to the infant Jesus.
There is so much about Christmas but I want you to make it a point of duty to mind your lifestyle this season because it might make or mar you. Be obedient, be ever ready to obey God’s will even if it doesn’t suit you, there’s a reason for everything God does.
Give out gifts to someone this season. Reach out! Be ready to share even the little things you have because there are people out there who do not have the opportunity you have and the things you have. Have a family reunion, give thanks to God and celebrate this season with joy and merriment. JESUS LOVES YOU, SHARE IN THAT UNFAILING LOVE ALWAYS. Be kind, show love and be merry. Merry Christmas and a splendid new year in advance.
Okeke Chioma (2010).
Edited by me,
Obialo Maduawuchi Innocent (King Innocent II),
Editor Nigerian Infopedia.