Once again we are in the season of Advent indicating that Christmas is just around the corner. Many of us may remember the once popular hymn during this season, “Oh Come Divine Messiah” whose lyrics go like this:
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing of triumph
And sadness flies away
Yes, those days life was very simple as we waited in silence with full of hope that soon good will triumph over evil thereby ridding our lives of sadness. Those words were so meaningful and bring back pleasant memories of Christmas of the yesteryears.
Christmas is a commemoration of God’s coming to us. He came for all of us – believers and non-believers alike. His birth should bring us hope and triumph which would dispel the sadness from our lives. But after years of celebrating Christmas after Christmas many of us are yet to see that triumph in our lives and our hopes may be giving way to despair. Has the Messiah really come?
The real problem today is that we are waiting for God to literally come to us. We celebrate His birth just like that of any one of us – offering prayers, eating, drinking and making merry. We celebrate his coming into the world but we do not welcome Him into our hearts and lives. Yes, He has come into the world and is very much in our midst but unfortunately we refuse to recognize Him therefore fail to welcome Him.
By being born to poor parents in an environment of extreme poverty Jesus is telling us where He dwells - among the poor and the down-trodden, the sick and dying, the hungry, the oppressed and in those we love and even in those we hate. In short He is among the masses.
Amidst our celebrations this Christmas, let us pause a while to look around us to recognize that Jesus who was born into the world two thousand years ago. He is among us in every person and in every trial and tribulation we encounter in our lives. Let us take a moment to look around to recognize Him in those who do not have joy and peace in their lives. Let us do the little we can to alleviate the pain and misery in their lives. Let us do whatever we can to give them the hope that triumph will one day wipe out the sadness in the hearts.
We too, like Jesus, must have the humility to come down from our positions of comfort and power to meet Him in the people around us. If we isolate ourselves from the masses by building a fortress around us with all our wealth and power together with greed, selfishness and pride, then we can keep waiting for Jesus all our lives but it will only be in vain.
To us then His birth into this world, that is Christmas, will be just another day to celebrate, eat, drink and make merry. It will never become the day when hope shall sing of triumph and sadness flees away.Dr.Chris Anthony