John 3:16 summarizes the true essence of Christmas. For God’s love for us his people, of all skins, appearances, genders, and other characteristics, He gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be sacrificed for our sins, and we will gain eternal life just by believing him.
The spirit of giving is underscored in this verse because the Almighty Father gave up his only son, Jesus Christ, to save the people of the world from their sins. Aside from giving, the verse also speaks of the need for us to repent for our sins to our fellow men, have the faith in the Lord that he will save us from temptation and lead us to the right path as we hurdle the challenges that confront us in our daily lives. People must have faith in the Lord that he will save us and in the end, we will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven with him.
People in different countries have their own way of celebrating Christmas but their celebrations boil down to a the spirit of giving and receiving. In this modern times, we have undeniably become materialistic in the manner we celebrate the Yuletide season. Almost everyone expects gifts from family members, friends and relatives and that the value of the gifts has even become the gauge of friendship or caring. Some people even demand for what gifts to receive, and others do not feel valued if they do not have gifts.
We should be reminded of the story of the three wisemen who, upon learning of the birth of Christ, traveled from afar to search for this child Jesus to pay tribute to him. The story reminds us that gifts do not necessarily drop from the sky, but we know that hard work will always bring us some of those gifts we aspire for. For most times, gifts will also come from our own good works. God helps those who help themselves, we also must remember that. Worship is not only through the recital of the Bible but the way we live our lives. We are born to care, as we are social animals, and caring in whichever way for those who have less would be a great form of living God’s message.
We are grateful to the Almighty Father that we were able to hurdle another year of ups and downs in our lives for us to again celebrate Christmas and grow a year older. We are lucky that in the celebration of Christmas, we are able to attend numerous parties to eat our favorite dishes and get material gifts. We are happy to be invited to these affairs to share in the joy, to enjoy the company.
Let us bring back the true essence of the celebration of the Yuletide season. Let us start changing our conception and perception of Christmas. The essence of Christ’s birth must be with us everyday. Material gifts are welcome but daily care, the giving of hope to those who have lost it, the sharing of helpful ideas, the visits to those who need our presence, the company we provide to those facing life difficulties, our prayers for good health, and many other simple everyday things we can do, these are gifts by which we can concretely express Jesus Christ’s birth. We must continue to sustain living in peace, love, harmony, joy, humility and hope. While it is always better said that done, let us try our best to emulate Christ life on earth as a form of our worship.
We must live with simplicity, sincerity and harmony with nature and not allow our greed for material things to prevail upon us. Let us continue praying that we will genuinely act as God’s children as we have been created in His image.
Enjoy the holidays even as we pray for better times to those who are not able to share in these celebrations – those in situations of conflict and in difficult circumstances, those who are sick, those who are away from their loved ones, those who need care and do not have it. May everyone have a safe and meaningful Christmas!