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Merry Christmas

Posted 12/19/2017

From festive decorations in shopping malls to Christmas tunes on the radio, the joyous celebration of Christmas is within a week away.  As I am writing this blog at my home in Vancouver, Canada, it is snowing.


Most of us celebrate Christmas, regardless of religious or cultural backgrounds.  It is a time for families and friends to get together over a meal and to exchange gifts to show love and appreciations for one another.  It is also the opportunity for companies to throw a party to reward workers for their hard labour throughout the year, and for them to be more acquainted with one another. 


Christian or otherwise, many people know that Christmas is to commemorate Jesus' birth, but as Christians, we know that this special occasion is far beyond throwing a party to mark one's birthday like we do for our loved ones.  Despite so, we are busy gift-shopping, party-planning, or Christmas lights watching.  Is there more that we can do to make Christmas more fulfilling?


Yes, a lot.


But first, we ought remind ourselves of the "why" before we discuss about the "what".


Jesus' gift of life


There are enough prophecies in the Bible about Jesus' birth for your to read during Christmastime.  In Matthew chapter one when describing Jesus' birth, the numerous prophecies that associated with that were fulfilled.  Aside from the name of Jesus, He was also called "Immanuel" (which means "God with us").  Yes, Jesus ultimately came to save us from our sins once and for all, but why did He live for so many years and done so much before saving us?


It's true that Jesus could have "cut to the chase" and just save us from sin, instead of performing so many miracles, healing so many people, and enduring so much pain and suffering.  Yes, part of it was to fulfill prophecies, but He did way more than that.  How he healed the sick, the blind, and the troubled (such as the Samaritan woman and the woman caught in adultery in John chapters four and eight, respectively) showed that He cares for us and wants us to see Him and love Him.  Only by doing so when we can have life.  If we are only saved from sin and don't live a glorious life with Christ, than we'd be missing out a lot, and the salvation would serve no purpose.


All that he did, plus his punishment and suffering on the cross, were also to tell us that not He can help us in all situations because He understands our feelings and troubles, and He has such deep understanding about us because He desires to love and be with us every moment.  This is a gift that never ceases, and it will keep on giving throughout eternity because He knows that we need Him to sustain our lives.  We are nothing apart from Him, as only He can help us and solve our problems completely, and that He knows what's best for us in this life and beyond.


Our gift of love


We give gifts to show our love and appreciation towards those around us: those who have loved us, helped us, and impacted our lives.   Sometimes, we are misled by the society or be deceived by the commercials that we need to present a quality gift to match the quality of our appreciation towards a person.  Often, such gifts come with a steep price.  Worse, some would want you to fulfill their wish list, as they desire for a certain gift.  But consider what Jesus did on Earth from birth to death.  He did more than expected or prophesized just so we may believe in Him and love Him back, and He wouldn't force us to love Him, either--it's our choice to do so, even though He has made His choice to love us eternally by giving and committing Himself to us.


So what can we do to love Him back at Christmastime?


1. Draw near to Him


Jesus is now in heaven praying for us and causing things to work together for our good.  He also desires to hear our voice and see our face everyday.  He longs for us to worship Him and tell Him how much you love Him.  We need the truth to affect us always to counter all the stress, pressure, and expectations in giving the most enjoyment to others during Christmastime.  We need to overcome the society-accepted meanings of Christmas that are away from the original meaning.


Spend some time to sing to Him, consider His love towards you , or thank Him for all that he has done in your life.  Share with Him about your feelings--happy or sad--and listen for His response or words of comfort.  Do this for a few minutes to start at least once a day everyday, and then increase the frequency throughout the day if your schedule allows it.  You'd be amazed at the closeness between you and Jesus after a few days!


2.  Share the love of Christ to others  


Christmas is the perfect season to tell people about God's love, even though we are told to spread the gospel in season or out of season.  People love to celebrate Christmas with gifts and parties, but their souls are thirsting after all the fun are over.  They need Jesus--the bread of life and living water to quench their thirst.  They need to know that they will have a more prosperous life with Jesus and that there is a glorious and eternal life after death.  


It may be taboo to talk about death around Christmas, but many suffer from SAD--Seasonal Affective Disorder--during the winter season, which is a type of depression, or other types of depression  that may lead to suicide.  Jesus wasn't just a healer when He was on Earth, but He is ready to cure us everyday.  Even Christians are not immune to such conditions as we are human being, but we can experience true joy in God, and more so for the non-believers when they take the leap of faith to believe in Him.


You may invite them to a Christmas event at church or share the g or your testimony over a meal or a home visit.  The environment depends mostly on your invitee's preferences without negatively affecting your spirit or impression as a Christian.  If you are not comfortable in inviting people (like me, as I am not a people person), you may want to consider includingospel messages when writing Christmas cards--I especially enjoy this as a writer.  There are many creative ideas to introducing God to others, but acting on them is the key.


Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe, and Merry Christmas!




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© 2017 by John Leung.  All Rights Reserved.