a day chosen to commemorate the grand occasion when God entered human history. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, voluntarily left the glory and splendour of heaven to live on rough, dusty, planet Earth. He came to show the human face of God so His creatures could relate more easily to Him and thus be able to love Him. He came to atone for sin so they could live with Him in His heavenly home for all eternity.
a special occasion for humanity since the arrival of Jesus more than 2,000 years. His birthday is celebrated by Christians every year. It is considered an event of such significance that our very calendars date from His entrance into the world. Even non-Christians sense that it is a day, even an entire season, for joy and celebration, though they may call it other names and cite different reasons for the festivities. Year after year, down through the centuries, ever fresh, ever joyous, ever wonder-full, Christmas is…
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ( John 3:16 ). As He did in creation, God took the initiative. He reached out and shared His infinite love, even to the extent of giving His life for those He loved. The only return He asks is that we follow His example. We are called to love God by following His commandments. We are called to love our brothers and sisters with the same unselfish dedication that Jesus exemplified, from the time of His birth in the cold, dark stable in Bethlehem until His death on the cross.
Love does not remain self-contained. As God has reached out, through creation, through accomplishing our salvation, through continuing to give good gifts to His children, we are also called to express our love. God is in need of nothing we can give Him, except for our love and loyalty. We please Him best by loving His other children in meaningful ways. Giving gifts is not always the best way, in fact, sometimes it’s the easy way out of showing sincere warmth and devotion. Jesus wishes His friends to give the gifts of time, and attention and effort to others. He is honoured when His followers share their skills, and freely offer time and help to those less fortunate.
At the Last Supper, the night before He died, Jesus gave His friends a final exhortation: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you…” ( John 13: 34 ). That’s a tall order. As He began His human life in Bethlehem at Christmas, might we resolve that our gift to Him this year will be a sincere effort to follow this final commandment in a better way during the Christmas season and throughout the coming year? Assuredly, that’s a gift which would be very pleasing to Him.