Christmas: A time for celebration
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is a joyous occasion, marked out in church season in commemoration that at a time in history, God took upon Himself flesh and became man to perfect the salvation of man. (Gal. 4:4-5). Christmas is celebrated all over the world, even by non-Christian nations and people.
But the real meaning of Christmas is generally forgotten today in its celebration and the modus. Christmas period is mostly seen now only as a time for wining and dining and making merry in all dimensions. It is also a “season” for lucrative business ventures. Christmas appears to be all about gifts and shopping, carols, decorations, get-togethers, feasts, festivities and funs. Children know more of Father Christmas than Jesus and look forward to going to park than Church on Christmas Day. The adults are not left out. Many neither bother to join in the worship of God nor meditate on the meaning and import of Christmas. Platonism and anything but spirituality and reflection have become the mark of Christmas celebration. However, in this seeming merriment, there is the paradox that Christmas is also a time of sorrow for many people. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time, when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons and that feasts and festivities are obviously only a fantasy and not a reality for them.
Nevertheless, Christmas is really a time of celebration, the circumstance or particular situation, notwithstanding. It is a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. Christmas surely calls for celebration. But celebrating Christmas without Christ is a worrisome anomaly. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born and His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. This Birth of Jesus was not an accident of history. It was rather the high point of the history of salvation, which has been revealed and continued to unfold since the Fall of man. The prophets had told of it hundreds of years before. In fact, the whole of the Old Testament pointed at and moved towards the great Event. The star stopped over Bethlehem, just to mark the way for those who looking for this special born child.
The reason for the celebration of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born so that He would one day pay for our sins and wrought salvation for us. His story (history) is one of truth, love and hope, which brought salvation to mankind. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.
Christmas is a time for celebration, no matter what may be happening, because of the inestimable Divine Gift of His Only Son, through whom we become children of God and have access to eternal life. When we receive this Gift, we are sure of a “Merry Christmas” and a lasting joy and peace.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!
The Venerable Dr. Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC, is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.