Christmas reflections 2008

Jesus is born but have we found Him yet?

Three important encounters during this Christmas made be reflect on the the significance of the birth of of Christ to me and us Christians.There were two neglected elderly parents,two couples at the verge of divorce and a close relative who left the faith due to marriage.Then there were 2 case of serious illness in the family.What were the significance of all these at time of celebrations and joy?

Christmas is a commemoration of God’s coming into the world as a man to live among men just like every one of us. He came for all of us – believers and non-believers,good and the bad alike.

His birth should bring us hope and triumph which will 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? If He has where is He? Why doesn't He bring the triumph to dispel the sadness of man?

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 into our lives. The way he chose to be born into the world has great significance for us as a great lesson in the wonderful virtue of humility.

By being born to poor parents, in an environment of extreme poverty, Jesus is telling us where He dwells - not in places of majesty and glamour but 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 in every one we encounter in our daily lives, our spouse, children parents, friends and more importantly our enemies, those who hurt us.

Amidst all our celebrations, did we pause a while to look around us to recognize that Jesus who is among us, in every person and in every trial and tribulation we encounter in our lives? As step into the New Year, let us make a resolution to look around to recognize Jesus in those who do not have joy and peace in their lives.

Let us resolve to do the little within our means 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.

Jesus is born into the world but have we found him yet? Has he been born into our lives yet? If we haven’t then his birth, that is Christmas, will be just another day to celebrate, eat, drink and make merry. It will never become the day when we bring hope of triumph that dispels the sadness in our lives and in those around us.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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