Christmas without Christ
A Christmas message.
वह बिनाकहे मर गया’ यह अधिक गौरवशाली है , यह कहे जाने से ,कि वह मरने के पहले ,कुछ कह रहा था जिसे किसी ने सुना नहीं।
Well, every year, millions of people around the world celebrate Christmas. It is a widely celebrated holiday by Christians and non-Christians alike.
Many celebrate it to “remember the birth of Jesus Christ”.
Nevertheless, the sad truth is that most celebrate it without Christ at all.
How is that you might ask ?
Without Jesus there is no Christmas, there is another holiday, but not Christmas. In addition, if he is at the centre, then all the trimmings, that is, the lights, sounds, various local traditions, including the characteristic foods, all contribute to creating an atmosphere of celebration, but with Jesus at the centre.
Having said this in the recent past we had the Manipur human Tragedy, I think we all must not forget the women were paraded naked. The atrocities are still going on. Not only in Manipur but all over India, let’s be mindful while we celebrate Christmas.
Christmas time can be incredibly painful for those who have lost loved ones [Russia-Ukraine] [Israel-Palestine]. When I say this, I mean in the National and Global context. Sorrow is real and grief is present. Those emotions and feelings are appropriate, but for the Christian they are not to sorrow and grieve like those without Christ. For the Christian who has lost a loved one that was a Christian that sorrow and grief is for this temporary moment. It does not last because, for the Christian, they will be reunited with their loved ones one day. They will see them again, and most importantly, they will worship the Lord together again.
So this Christmas do not let others tell you not to grieve or to sorrow. It is understandable that these days are difficult. Nevertheless, as you grieve, remember that one day we will be reunited and with the Lord. Our hope is not in presents, songs, or food. Our hope is in Jesus Christ alone.
As the days, continue to move us toward Christmas, keep Christ front and centre. Remind yourself each day of the redemption and hope that is found in him. Remember that Christmas is the starting point for Jesus Christ and that it should prepare us for Easter. Jesus is placed in a manger at his birth, but He is ultimately on a mission to go to the cross and then the tomb, which He will leave empty.
In addition, what about the business side of Christmas ? Christmas nowadays is so much characterized by commercialism and materialism.
With all that is going on around this time of the year, are you having a Christ-less Christmas ? Is this your concern ?
Honestly, I like Christmas and I am not against its celebration. I came from the a village, near Nagpur [MIDC – Butibori] with abject poverty and hunger, and amidst that and we have a very rich Christmas tradition.
As a child, I did enjoy putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it, arranging the nativity scene, singing carols, watching the colourful lanterns, eating homemade ‘FARAL’ Home made goodies, and of course, opening Christmas presents. Then, I did not even know about the origins of Christmas, nor how it is influencing our material world.
Christmas is that time of year when we reflect on the moment in history when God came to earth in the person of Jesus, assumed the fullness of human flesh, was born in a barn, accompanied only by his parents, and surrounded by barn animals, a few shepherds and sages from the East.It was a simple night.
No pomp, ceremony, parties, celebrations or any of the activities that would normally accompany the birth of a king.
The night was steeped in humility.
Except for one star in the sky that only a few people even recognized, no one noticed.
Calm. Quiet. Peaceful.
For me, Christmas is all about Jesus’ incarnation – a powerful story of weakness and beauty. Its intrinsic humility causes me to humbly approach the story with gratitude and servitude.
Trying to force the message of Jesus’ birth into the pattern of the world is an exercise in futility. We will use enormous amounts of energy, time and resources attempting to do something that will never work.
Christmas is the Church’s time to reflect, ponder and anticipate the King’s arrival, as we wait for his return. Moreover, we should point people to the story and invite them to experience it for themselves.
However, the means we use to do so should echo the means God used humility, invitation and embrace.
May God bless all of us with glory and blessings of understanding the Christmas with clarity and understanding and the socio-Political reality ?
– Rajesh Jadhav.
National Coordinator of NCCI-Urban Rural Mission.