Significance of Christmas

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    Birthday celebration of the long-awaited Messiah

    By Father Joseph Noren Baidya

    This article will try to explore and answer the questions—
     What is the true meaning about Christmas?
     What does Christmas mean to the Christians?
     How did Jesus Christ, Messiah come into the world?
     Why the Christmas is a feast of light, joy and liberation?
     How can Christ be born in our lives every day?

    The Real Meaning of Christmas
    Christmas, the biggest religious festival of Christians. There is an estimated 0.3 percent baptized and professed Christians living in Bangladesh. Christmas reminds us that the heavenly Father loved the human being so much and sent his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ the long-awaited Messiah who had entered human history. Christmas is the extraordinary and joyful event when the Son of God was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary and dwelt among human beings, becoming like human beings in all things except sin. Christmas reminds us that God is indeed with us. In every circumstance of life, even when we are frightened or lonely or in sorrow, God is with us. God’s Son became man so that we might become like God.

    The need for the birth of Jesus in the Bible
    The Birth of Messiah was a historical event. He has become Emmanuel, the God who is with us. (Is 7:14; Mt 1: 23). The darkness of the human condition illumined by the coming of the Saviour. Prophet Isaiah narrates to us: “There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress (Isaiah 9: 1). For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder- Counsellor, God- Hero, Father- Forever, and Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful. ((Isaiah 9: 5)

    “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children” ( Galatians 4:4-5). “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) The good news proclaimed by the angels Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people, for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11).

    How did Messiah come into the world?
    Did our Messiah come with all His divine might and glory? He came in simplicity, in all humanity, and in all poverty. He was born in a manger, not in a palace. He was born in a simple village, not a big city. He came in the middle of the night, with only Mary, Joseph and the animals in attendance. The first ones to know about the birth of the Messiah were poor shepherds.

    Life implications: Relevance of Celebrate Christmas
    Christmas is a feast of light, joy and liberation. Light for those who live in darkness. Christmas rings out “joy to the world,” yes, but how do I make this joy my own? This is an important question, for, even though God has declared joy to the whole world, there are still many among us who do not flow in this joy, many among us who do not know how to claim this joy and make it their own personally.

    Christmas encourage us to examine our lives, to reflect on our need for God to enter our lives. Our world is full of problem, grief, anxiety, bomb blast, killing, murder. Is there inner joy in our lives, in our heart? Are we happy and joyful with our lives? Is there something missing in our lives at the moment? We are seeking happiness joy in wrong place and directions? When we do lose interior joy? With the celebration of Christmas becoming more and more commercialized and secularized, we can forget the original message of Christmas. We live in fast-changing times and in a highly- technological and globalized world. Because of so many developments in the world, we could become already full and the question of God might not seem urgent.

    How can Christ be born in our lives every day?
    We have been called in our own special way to give birth to Jesus in our lives and in our environment. Jesus became a human being, the son of God so that we can see him, hear him, and touch him. Christmas is about celebrating the coming of God among the poor and homeless and the disadvantaged, with a message of hope and liberation for the disadvantaged of our world. It is about our responsibility to be part of that liberating process. When a poor man is welcome-it is CHRISTMAS. When one spreads Joy it is CHRISTMAS When there is sharing -it is CHRISTMAS.

    Tagore Rabindranath a philosopher wrote that commitment to the truth and sincere love is guarantee for the coming of Jesus: “when we will be able to sacrifice for the truth, when we will genuinely be able to love man and call him brother, that day the son of the Father will be born in our life, that day would be the day of Christmas.”

    Christmas is very much a deeply spiritual event – a personal encounter with God. The best Christmas gift for us and our family is may Our word be ‘divine words’ encouraging, consoling, forgiving, caring, loving, not ‘bad words’ cursing, shouting, lying, gossiping, flattering, insulting. “Christmas is really a time for giving more of ourselves to others. And come to think of it, it is also a time for forgiving – forgiving ourselves to others. Christmas is not just for tonight. It is for the whole year. Christmas is a time for peace. In order to have a peaceful life we would not forget these 4H’s of peace:

    H – Honesty. Yes honesty is still the best policy. An honest person is a person at peace

    H – Humility. A person finds peace when he does not pretend to be something or someone else.

    H – Hard work. There is no substitute for hard work. Are you hard working or hardly working?

    H – Holiness. Follow God’s ways and you will have peace. Turn away from God and you will never find peace

    H – Humour. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile, laugh and with child-like confidence trust in our Loving Father who has a sense of humour.

    Conclusion
    Christmas is all about God’s outpouring of humble and generous love in the person of incarnate Jesus: “For God so loved the world that He have His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3: 16). Our Christmas should not be measured by what we have received, but more importantly who we have received. Wish you a very Happy Christmas. May the Peace and Joy that the birth of Jesus brings warm up your heart and mind and relationships?