Posted by: kulanjiyil | December 11, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas

The Christmas season is here again, and the retelling of the Christmas story brings hope and joy to every heart. The baby born to Joseph and Mary, in a manger in Bethlehem, was not an ordinary child; indeed he was God incarnate. He was given the name Jesus, for the reason that he was to be the savior of the world (Mathew 1:21). The angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds living out in fields: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord” Luke 2: 10-11). The host of angles that appeared also proclaimed: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom God’s favor rests” (Luke 2:14). On the Christmas morning the long expected Messiah had arrived, inaugurating an era of divine favor of peace and goodwill to all. This message is at the heart of Christmas.

The life Jesus lived on earth demonstrated the glory and the magnificence of God. All those who had known him and experienced him testified: “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14). Jesus was not a human that attained divinity, but God who assumed humanity to rescue us from the enslavement of sin. The author of Hebrews writes, “Because God’s children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of devil, who had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14) It is to this kind of personal knowledge of the person of Jesus that we are called to enter this Christmas season.

Our redemption was the ultimate purpose of divine incarnation. We read in John’s gospel “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16.). By laying down his life for us on the cross as a penalty for our sins, Jesus purchased our redemption. The true meaning of Christmas is understood only when the cross of Christ is acknowledged and its benefit appropriated.

What ought to be our attitude to Christ at this Christmas?  The wise men and the shepherds who visited the new born Jesus are quite instructive for us. The wise men bowed down and worshiped Jesus, and likewise we are called to approach this Christmas with worshipful hearts. The shepherds spread the word about Jesus, and we are to spread the good news of Jesus all around.

Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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