TODAY -

Christmas greetings

Kh Siile Anthony *



Christmas is near. People are busy shopping, decorating house and lighting up Christmas stars. Children are busy making cribs. The youth practising Christmas carols and skit of nativity. Family gets together from far and near. There will be new clothes etc. In short, there is preparation everywhere.

Christmas is a time filled with many exciting things. Often there are gifts and gatherings, food and good times. However, it is our annual opportunity to reflect on the birth of the savior and the gift of salvation. So, if we let out Christ in the midst of our celebration on His birth day, then it is not CHRISTMAS.

The Christian story starts with how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. Christmas seems an appropriate time to ask whether it's biologically possible to have a virgin birth. Scientifically, self conception/virgin birth is not possible for humans and mammals.

But Christ's conception was different. St. Luke even consulted with Jesus' mother Mary who confirmed that Jesus' birth was supernatural.

The virgin birth of Jesus Christ has survived the vanity of modernism. A recent survey found that 79% of Americans believe in the virgin birth.

But why the virgin birth? God chose to mark the coming of his eternal son, his anointed one, with this extraordinary birth. God appointed Mathew and Luke to record it clearly in their gospels. Therefore to deny this doctrine is to open the door to denying anything plainly affirmed in the Bible. Have faith.

So the birth of Emmanuel, God with us, began with the appearance of angels to shepherds announcing "good news of great joy".

The angels announced that the Savior of the World had been born and then, much to their surprise, they witnessed the whole host of heavenly angels singing praises: "Gloria in excelsis Deo!" "Glory to God in the highest".

He is born of Mary, lying in the manger. The Christ Child is the wordless Word who begins His daring mission in all humility. From then onward, light begins to shine where darkness was before.

These humble shepherds were the first to be called by God to go and greet the newborn King. What's amazing is that God did not first call the 'important' of the age to come and to worship. He called these poor shepherds.

One thing this tells us is that, in the eyes of God, all are equal. God does not pick favourites from among those who are seen as important in the eyes of the world. No, He sees great value and dignity of each and every person and desires all of us, rich or poor, powerful or weak, to come to Him in adoration and love.

But that's only the beginning. Christmas is the night the future began. God came searching for us. He humbled Himself in the most profound way so that we could come to know Him and His perfect love for us.

We did nothing to merit such a generous, self-emptying God. There is nothing here but grace. His searching and finding was His first mission. It is our duty to respond to this mission. Christ's voice never falters and His steps never pause.

Every day of every year He is walking at our side, waiting for our response: 'Yes' or 'No'. And with that 'Yes' or 'No', our eternity hangs in the balance. A small God is an attractive God. Yet that baby, like all babies, grows up. And as He grows, He will become more demanding and more specific in His expectations of us.

Christmas must be seen as a time for us to step back and take in the deep and rich meaning of this sacred event. We must see, first, that God entered our human condition and, in doing so, is able to identify with all that we experience in life.

God understands human life. He lived it. While all other stories fade, the Christ story becomes more and more true as we mature. This story alone gives meaning to death, purpose to suffering, cause for joy, and consolation to the broken.

This story alone rises above any one culture, city, language, or nation. This is the story of Jesus Christ, and this story begins today...

"Do not be afraid," as the angel said, "to come and behold the Christ who came as your Savior".

Let us not be afraid to come to meet Him, love Him, adore Him and get to know Him. God is given to us, today, as an infant, small, weak, fragile and innocent.

Christ chose to come and dwell among us, being born into poverty, rejection and humility. His love for us is unfathomable, transforming, awe-inspiring and deeply personal.

Let's ask Lord to reveal to us the glorious power of His birth and change our life on account of this perfect gift of Himself.

Merry Christmas.


* Kh Siile Anthony wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Joint Registrar, JNU
This article was posted on December 25, 2019 .


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