Many years ago, a man came down to earth, he was born in a manger because there was no room for him and his parents who had fled from the furious king who sought after the life of the new-born child to kill. The shepherds had come to worship him and 3 wise men who had seen the sign of his birth which was a star came with gifts (gold, myrrh and frankincense) to celebrate the King and till date we celebrate that birth as CHRISTMAS... This is a story that many of us are familiar with, but it doesn't end at just knowing the story behind Christmas.
What then is the essence of Christmas? If you were walking on the road and you were stopped and asked this question, what will be your answer? Is it holiday or the fun of shopping and wearing new clothes? or it the decorations and gifts you receive? Yes we know and agree that Christ was not born on Dec 25 but does that really matter? I guess what is more important is his birth and its significance to the world. But how do we show the reason behind the celebration, does our lifestyle portray the essence of his his birth? How do we show the significance of Christmas to the person next to us. We may not be able to change the world but there are little things we could do to affect the people around us positively.
Let's take a look at the man we are celebrating, he wasn't born in a famous city, he worked as a carpenter, did he write a book or own a house nor an office? No. He had no degree because he never went to the university but he had done more wonderful and life-touching things than all of us combined.
Christmas isn't the time for merry making, drinking and getiing drunk, wearing new clothes, increasing the prices of commodities, travelling and having fun, it is more than that. It is a time for reflection, a time that our thought and actions should manifest the presence of God, time to look back at the year, graciously it comes at the ending if a year. It is time to share the love that came with Christ, even though love shouldn't just be shown at this season but always. It's so easy to get caught up in the rush of Christmas that we tend to forget the true significance for the season.
How can our lifestyle portray Christmas?
By demonstrating love to the people around us, the less privileged, motherless babies, helpless orphans, patients in the hospital. It could be through giving or words of encouragement could do. Share with people out there who cannot afford to join in the celebration.
It's the season of forgiving, you should be able to let go of any grudge that had accumulated within you, forgive those that had stepped on your toes in one way or the other. Forgive yourself too for the mistakes you made and the failures you encountered, like I always say the worst thing that can happen to you is being able to forgive others and not yourself.
You can also portray Christmas by being an instrument of peace. Your lifestyle should not be the reason someone else is shrouding his shoulder and wondering what the essence of Christmas is. Let people see the reason for the birth of Christ in you. It shouldn't just be centered on the decorations, gifts and carols that are sang. Remember not to overspend, buy things that your money can afford so you don't end up a debtor and use Christmas as an excuse.
It is good to have fun, travel to places, and get new stuffs cause it's part of the celebration but we shouldn't have fun and forget the baby, born on a winter night that was so cold, and was wrapped in a swaddling cloth, who taught us what true and unconditional love is. For that is the reason for the season, the true essence of Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you and Happy new year in advance