By Not Known
Singapore’s Christmas seems to be becoming more pagan. Most street and store signs have the generic slogan Seasons Greetings. One store has a large banner that reads: It’s all about me this season. That’s rather close to blasphemy against God and idolatry of self. All of this adds up to a public Christ-less Christmas, from which Christian people may feel alienated. One of our key annual festivals is been emptied of meaning.
Our key annual festivals are Christmas and Easter. Both are about Jesus. Christmas is about Jesus who was God in the flesh, full of grace and truth. Easter is about this same Jesus dying and rising so that all people of faith can have forgiveness, life and hope.
The fact that Christams is about Christ is clear from today’s Bible passage (Luke 2: 8- 20)
The shepherds were the equivalent of modern security guards earning low incomes. Mary had the shame of unmarried motherhood, was far from home and had an animal barn rather than a tasteful nursery to lay her child in. Neither the shepherds nor Mary had the platinum credit cards, sending options and fine foods that characterise our Christmas.
But they had joy. And their joy was in Jesus.
The first Christmas was about Jesus. He was the content of the angel’s announcement (vs 10- 11) and the cause of exalted praise being given to God from heaven (vs 13- 14) and on earth (vs 20)
The shepherds and Mary had joy in Jesus because of what he is. He is the one who saves (vs 11). He is the fulfilment of all Old Testament promises in his role as the Messiah (vs 11). He is peace (vs 14).
Are you joyful this Christmas? Or are you stressed-out by the pressure of wanting to ‘have it all‘ and frantically running from one moment of busyness to another? If you are joyful, what is the source of your Christmas joy? Is it holidays, annual bonus, parties – or is it Jesus?
Let’s leave the Christ-less Christmas to those whose joy is in coloured tinsel, toys and trinkets. As Jesus said (in another context) they have their reward (Mt. 6: 2). Let’s have the Christ-filled Christmas of the shepherds and Mary and let’s make this the Christmas that we share with others too.