People all over the world are celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. I admit presents are one of the things about Christmas that gives me the holiday cheer. I get a sense of fulfillment ticking off names of the people I’ve already bought gifts for. I love wrapping presents, distributing them, and of course receiving them! Haha!
As much as Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the busiest in my book. The malls are crowded, traffic is horrific, parties overlap, and everybody’s rushing to get their holiday shopping over and done with. It is a holiday that is not as leisurely as summer vacations nor as meditative as Holy Week. Christmas is crazy and wild with celebrations and get-togethers. Houses are filled with laughter and conversations with reunions happening simultaneously. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to celebrate Christmas and it always goes by oh so fast.
After the food is gone, the decors are down, and the parties are over, we all go back to our daily routines. We eventually realize that we never fully grasped Christmas and we hope that next year Christmas will go a little bit slower than usual so we can savor it longer. All the holiday hustle and bustle got me thinking on how I can slow things a bit this Christmas. Hence, this blog.
As I do my own reflection on Christmas, I am reminded that this holiday is festive and full of love only because of Christ. Take out His name and there’s no reason to celebrate Christ-mas. In reality, the birth of Christ was nothing but a joy-filled, stress-free event. In the most defining moment of mankind’s history, there were no parties nor people hurrying around shopping for gifts. When Christ was born, there was total peace yet there was a complete celebration in the hearts of those who witnessed it.
I can only imagine the joy and awe that filled the heart of Joseph and Mary when they finally saw Him, their Son and Savior. What a great honor it must’ve been to be Jesus’ surrogate parents! Imagine being chosen to bear the next King of England or the next President of the United States. Just thinking about the huge responsibility and scrutiny that goes along with it makes me queasy. In addition, this soon-to-be prominent leader in your womb would surely receive the grandest and most high profile welcome from the world, televised 24/7.
But Jesus is different. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords born in a lowly stable. To even call it low profile would be an understatement. The nativity scene, which we now use as a perennial Christmas decor, was a simple gathering of people from all walks of life rejoicing in the presence of the perfect, blameless, pure, and most holy Newborn they’d ever seen. The shepherds and the Magi were overjoyed at the sight of Christ, praising and worshiping God for sending the Savior of the world. They already found the gift they’ve been looking and waiting for. The Giver and the Gift came with no trumpets resounding, no commotion, and no social media coverage. Yet His birth reached every corner of the world and is celebrated yearly for thousands of years.
In that humble manger, Jesus showed how accessible He was from the very start. No mediator needed, no VIP access, anyone can approach Him anytime. His birth was already an invitation for all of us. Later on, Jesus would show even more how accessible He is by initiating contact with people that are considered outcasts by society. He taught and fed multitudes. He healed the sick regardless if he’s a friend like Lazarus or a servant of a Roman soldier. Discrimination was never in Jesus’ vocabulary. He accepted all kinds of people. When He died on the cross to reconcile mankind to God, He did it for everyone. He knew that no one is sinless and no one will be good enough to reach God. Only a perfect holy sacrifice will suffice for a perfect holy God.
Christmas is not simply about Jesus the baby being born. It’s about Jesus the Savior opening His arms to all of us. In the same way, Christmas is also a good time for us to open our hearts to Him, to think about His abounding love, to thank Him for everything He has done for us, and to honor Him in our celebration of Christmas. Let us spend one unhurried moment with our Savior this Christmas, praising and thanking Him for being the reason for the season. Let us savor a moment with Jesus and celebrate His love by sharing His love not only today but also every single day He has blessed us with. 🙂