One of the most celebrated times in the history of planet earth is the ‘Christmas season’. What is celebrated at Christmas is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who hailed from Nazareth. He was born (not on December 25, but on one particular day He was born) to Mary who was engaged to be married to a man called Joseph. This seems to be the most magnanimous celebration all over the world; people exchange gifts with one another coupled with the exotic and the luminous decorations displayed on a ‘Christmas tree’.
Some have described the ‘Christmas tree’ as the tree Christ was slaughtered on as it is written; cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree so that the blessing can come on those Gentiles who will eventually accept Him as their Lord and Savior. The lighting and the shinny decorations are compared to Jesus who is the one that lights up everyone that comes into this world; shrouded in gross and gloomy darkness, signifying that indeed, we (the whole world) needed someone to rescue us because of the impending judgment coming from the Almighty God. Quite symbolic, isn’t it?
Looking through the pages of the Book and in contra-distinction to the Christmas celebrations, our walk with God is not predicated on the birth of Jesus but on the death, burial and resurrection. This is likened to the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacle looking at the Jewish custom. So the Easter celebration should be the most celebrated season today though the world refers to the Easter time as the lesser of the celebrations in comparison to the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. In other words, there is no biblical instruction or command to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Now, there is nothing wrong in celebrating His birth as a symbolic one, but there would be something wrong when we associate the celebration as part of the prerequisites needed to have eternal life or as a means to drawing close to or knowing God. This is where I think we should draw the line and become conscious that our being Christians is predicated on those three days when he died, He was buried and on the third day He rose up from the dead for our justification.
Merry Christmas to you all then and as we celebrate the person of Christ, may we continue to know and understand what Jesus the Christ represents as we keep remembering Him all the days of our lives. Amen.
This is what we can glean from the birth of Jesus as we read on.
“Thou Bethlehem, are you not the least of every city, but from you will come the ruler of my people”; this was the prophecy given by Prophet Micah signifying that Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem. Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary and the first catastrophe was that, as Mary waited for the months to roll by, looking at the day when she would be finally married to her man, she found herself pregnant. The whole plan and setup, according to Joseph and Mary was interrupted by God, because He had a better plan for them. To Mary, only God could come to her rescue because no man will understand the circumstance in which she found herself in. How can you get pregnant without a man who definitely wasn’t Joseph? When God upsets your plan, give thanks because its definitely for a better one.
God has to visit Joseph through the vehicle of one of His angels instructing that he should not put Mary away for shame. At the visit of the angel, Mary was comforted that Joseph believed that she hadn’t been unfaithful. He stayed with his betrothed wife as the expected day of delivery drew near. They were still in Galilee and were never aware of the prophecy from Prophet Micah about the place of birth.
One way or the other they had to find a way of getting to Bethlehem. God caused the King to ask for a census, which will then make people go back to their villages and towns to take part in the registration. Joseph and Mary were forced indirectly to go back to Bethlehem from Galilee by this law. Sometimes when society comes up with one law or the other, it might be because of you and what God has planned concerning your life. You can never tell!
They were on their way to Bethlehem and unknown to the people around them, it was just another pregnant woman, nothing special about her, but there was something special about this pregnancy. The Bible specified that He (Jesus) came to His own but they did not receive Him. What would have happened if they knew that Jesus was in the womb of the pregnant Mary travelling on the donkey? They arrived at Bethlehem that night!
The city was rejoicing and prospering and celebrating; they had no time to care about the pregnant woman who had just come into town with her husband-to-be. People were too busy to note or bother about the plan of God. How we can be too busy doing our day-to-day running (just as many people are busy at this time of the year) and never bother to pause and think about the mind of God for the hour. In all these God was about something and there was no special announcement and proclamation that the King is about to come.
They tried to get a room in the hotel that night but because of the multitude of people coming in, the hotels had been fully booked and there was no extra room for them so they had to end up in a dirty stable. The manager of the hotel had just told the King that he could not accommodate them in his hotel. The manager would have been part of the arrival of His majesty had he given up his own room that night. He was too busy to even consider the state of pregnant Mary.
The time for the birth was getting near as they found themselves in the stable. They had no choice but to make do with what they had. The miracle occurred and God entered into the world as a baby. Mary had become a mother and seated close to Mary was a weary Joseph in the stable in amazement because he had not completely figured everything out quite yet. What happens here after?
On the other hand, Mary holds Jesus in her hands with exuding joy and for a second she would think within herself that she was carrying God. Jesus was her son and her lord and in amazement she would contemplate about the fact that “this is Him” as she remembers the word of Angel Gabriel.
Jesus became a helpless baby who is still dependent on his mother for His well-being. Here is divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable through the womb of His mother in the presence of a carpenter. The overseer of the universe didn’t have a place to be born; His golden throne had been abandoned in favor of the dirty stable. While this was going on, in the same city, life went on as they missed out on this miracle birth of Jesus. So many are busy today getting ready for Christmas without knowing why they are celebrating.
The merchants were unaware that God had visited His people and their planet; the manager would have never believed that he had just put His lord out in the cold. Most will scoff at anyone who told them that Jesus- the saviour laid in the dirty stable in the arms of Mary who was unknown. Everyone was too busy to consider the possibility that the King is born. The earth was oblivious as to what was happening because they were engrossed with their own lives and preoccupied with vanity and emptiness but Heaven had just missed Jesus who left His throne for planet earth; there was a farewell that went on in heaven; the son had said goodbye to His Father.
Little has changed from that time till now; we are still preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of this season when our focus should be on why Jesus was sent to planet earth. The same way when He prepares to come back, like a thief in the night, He is going to come because we live and act like we are not expecting Him.