Monday, December 11, 2006

ComeDivine Messiah

The world in silence awaits the day

We are again in the season of Advent and are preoccupied with preparations to welcome Jesus on Christmas day.

Most of us prepare to celebrate His arrival with elaborate festivities – luxurious food and wine, new clothes, Christmas trees, decorations and fireworks. House to house caroling and merry-making have become the hallmark of Christmas. To especially the children, it may a time for Santa Clause, gifts and “ang pow”.

It is also a time for sending Christmas cards to those we remember just once a year and to exchange greetings with friend and relatives. These days SMS and E-mail greetings are slowly replacing traditional Christmas cards among the young.

Many others take a more spiritual attitude towards Christmas. They believe attending elaborate church services, lighting the Advent candles, offering special prayers, singing hymns and going for confession as ways to prepare themselves for the coming of Christ.

Some of us resort to charitable acts, to share the joy with the less fortunate. Visit to old folks, orphanages and handicapped children are common practices during this season.

Then there are also those who make pilgrimage to the Holy Land and birthplace of Jesus to commemorate his birth.

All these may be some of the ways to welcome the coming of the Saviour but is welcoming Jesus all about these external preparations and traditions? If we picture Christmas as the infant Jesus being born in a stable in Bethlehem and await a similar re-birth year after year, we are sadly mistaken.

God could have chosen his birth in a grandeur palace fitting for an earthly king, but he deliberately chose a humble stable among shepherds in the wilderness. This illustrates his humility which we too must emulate.

Jesus is not going to come to us literally as a new-born infant; he is already here in our midst. He is waiting for in our neighbours, those we meet everyday – the sick and dying, the hungry, the destitute, the oppressed, our elderly parents, our spouse, our rebellious children and even our enemies.

Jesus is waiting for us in disguise which we fail to recognize. He is waiting for us to prepare a humble stable in our hearts for these people in whom He dwells. This may be more difficult than organising all the elaborate rituals and celebrations but if we can do that Jesus would be born in our hearts day in and day out for the rest of our lives.

Dr.Chris Anthony

No comments: