Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23.
Here we are once again. It is the season that the world designates for the celebration of Christmas. The world has indeed agreed to the revelry of Christmas. Christmas, in the eyes of believers and non-believers alike, is the season of shopping, gift-giving and receiving, gatherings with loved ones and feelings of inexplicable if not supernatural joy. This season seems wonderful for all that it is but not all that it should be. When the Church of Rome decided to designate December 25th to commemorate the birth of the Christian messiah they hoped for something a little different. Christ’s Mass was to be about Christ’s arrival and recognition of what that truly meant. The problem of excluding Jesus Christ from the equation is not a new conundrum.
Throughout history the Church has had this problem for it is not an issue germane to the non-believer only. Far too many believers have lost the sacred meaning of this season. The famous musical work entitled The Messiah was written because Joseph Handel lamented at the commercialization of Christmas. His magnificent musical work has
woven together the writing of the prophet Isaiah and brilliant musical expression.
So, what is it all about? God with us. One can argue that God has always been with us and you’d be correct. God as a human, experiencing the life events of his creation would be a first. But Christmas is not about giving God the chance to be human. The incarnation of the Christ displays God’s nature and His desire to be reconciled to mankind. We were shown a loving God who spared no expense to redeem the lives of His offspring. We were shown a God who cared about our life on this planet and in the hereafter. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. There are people who have an abundance of material wealth and want nothing to do with God, that is their choice. This season our Emmanuel has laid before us blessings and curses and He implores us to choose life.
Here is how things unfold.. What can we learn from the three wise men? They followed His star. No doubt there were many lights in the sky but Christ’s light was unique. If you are the biggest thing in your own life and if you are neither hungering nor thirsting for true meaning, you will not see His star. The Light of the world is life abundant and life without end.
One gift that the Magi brought Christ was gold. Who brings a baby gold? Men who know that they are coming before a King – a King whose kingdom will have no end.
Christmas day is December 25th but it just as well be a day in July. Do not be wrapped up in dates. Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of life. Truly celebrate Christ’s Mass.
Rev. D. Jeffrey – Student Administrator – Ordained Minister