December 25, 2012 was another joyous day for millions world over. So much was said about sharing the love of Christ in the mood of Christmas. By this, faithfuls were encouraged to give to one another even as Christ gave.
But we all know that like all other religious events, Christmas comes and goes yearly with many not understanding its value or benefit. I strongly believe that we have lost a clear understanding because humanism has actually taken over reality of Christmas. So much attention is given to caring for fellow mankind at this period with little time to reflect on God and His Only begotten Son, who is the essence of the season. One clear example is this; to do away with the reality and focus of Christmas, Christ has cleverly been replaced with an X, thus making it Xmas and not Christ-mas, which in its real sense the celebration of Christ—Christ – Mass. I have tried as much as possible to understand the correlation between Christ-mas and X-mas, but to no avail. Or put in another way, can a letter such as X take the place of Christ ( the Messiah) the redeemer of mankind?
Christmas must be viewed from the standpoint that the coming of Jesus Christ marked the beginning of redemption of the nations of the Gentiles, which we all were part of. Knowing first that at a time we were all living riotous lives and were in fact condemned to death. That we as Gentiles were people without God, thus, were not partakers of the common wealth (inheritance, promises, covenants) of Israel. But with His birth, death, resurrection and ascension, we who were not a people have become one and in fact can now call God Abba Father. As before now we were forbidden to call God our Father even as slaves of old were forbidden to call their masters father. But with the finished work of redemption we can go boldly to Him and say Abba Father–the God who make things happen. A title that also shows emotional relationship between God and His children.
This is the essence of Christmas—understanding where we were and in thankfulness appreciating God for extending to us who were Gentiles the covenant rights Israel has with Him.
1. Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘circumcised’ Ephesians 2:11
2. Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12
3. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood. Ephesians 2:13
Now and always, Jesus should remain the focus of Christmas. Except we appreciate this fact that as a people we all were hopeless and without God, we cannot appreciate Christmas. God was God of the Jews and salvation is of the Jews. This is akin to the fact that the Laws of Moses was the prized possession of the Jews (Deut. 33:4).
It is by His grace that salvation, which was for the Jews has come to us who were once Gentiles–people without God.
Except we appreciate this and come to terms with it and humbly accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour by repenting of all sins, the pleasantries and gifts with the talks of love for mankind, which I call humanism, is of no value.
Think about this: how much can you give for your life?