Christmas Day, New Year Day and May Day are holidays celebrated worldwide with the exception of few countries. Christmas Day is so special that it is associated with many things. Volumes of sales go up during the period of Christmas. Businesses reach their peak during this period. It is the time that most businesses pay bonuses to their workers and also organizes their get-together events. In the church, attendance reaches its peak as occasional church visitors come to church.
Christmas is not only a period of festivity, eating, partying and rolling tambourines and trombones. It is a time for reflection and meditation. Life is lived forward but it is understood backward. We need to set specific measurable targets which we want to achieve as individuals and also a nation. Christmas calls for the evaluation of the year. And perhaps the year 2009 might not have gone well for you but we must never give up on God. For we are only defeated when we give up on God. Experiences have informed us that life is an alloy of sorrows and joy, good and bad, day and night. All things work together for good for those who love God and are called by his name, writes Apostle Paul.
Today, as a result of commerce and materialism, the whole world’s mind has unconsciously been taken away from the significance of Christmas. Christmas means more than business and commerce. We are losing the true meaning of Christmas as people and as a nation. It is still not too late for us to search and discover it. I would not want to get ourselves bogged down with the philosophical dimensions of Christmas. Christmas, by default, is an occasion to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Long before Christ was born Isaiah the prophet wrote that ‘For a child is born, unto us a child is given. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. His ever expanding government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David’. What is so special about this Christ whose name has become such a dominant feature in everyday conversation? He came to split history into BC and AD such that the reign of Caesar is dated after him.
Another thing which Christmas tells us is that God can lift us from nowhere to somewhere. Christ was born in manger. He came from Nazareth. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Darlene Zschech, the Australian songwriter writes ‘…taken me from the miry clay set my feet upon the rock….’
In everything that we do for Christmas, we must never forget about God and his begotten son Jesus Christ. And I am here to tell you today that we need God in our lives. We may not be able to explain God in philosophical terms. Modern man may know a great deal of science- but this cannot eliminate God. Unfortunately, some few theologians are trying to say that God is dead. Notable among them are Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. What worries me is that they could not tell us when and where He died. He is an immortal being. His first and last names are the same: I AM that I AM. He has no beginning, no end. No time can contain him. Life without Christ is like drama with most of the decisive scenes missing. Like Saint Augustine ‘we were made for God and our life will be restless until we find rest in him’.