“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) “
Christmas is upon us again. It is that time of the year where year-long activities wind down and shiny decorations are visible everywhere. Some of us spend the time on great vacations and reuniting with old friends and family. However, in the midst of the red pomp and pageantry that Santa Clause represents, it is quite easy to forget the very essence of the period; the reason for the season: Jesus Christ, the saviour of humanity.
What does Christmas mean to you? Is all the cheer and fun relegating His presence in our lives to the backseat? In the wise words of George F Mc Dougall, ‘Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God”.
The focus for this beautiful season is the overwhelming nature of God’s love (1 John 4:8) that is evidenced by the gift of his only begotten son Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he subsequently had to pay on our behalf(John 3:16-17). It is because of this salvation inducing sacrifice that Christmas should really be all about celebrating Jesus Christ. Bear in mind that Jesus’ ministry was centred on identifying the needs of others and meeting those needs. One way to key into that vision and share the gift of Christmas is to emulate Jesus’ example of selfless service and constantly remain thankful for the gift of salvation. Christmas therefore transcends having a house full of lights, cheers and whatnot. It basically entails sharing with others, not only materials gifts but actions that can be felt and appreciated. A simple prayer, hug, thank you note, text message and genuine forgiveness can go a long way in conveying the Christmas spirit.
For Christians, every day should be Christmas as each new day presents again to us God’s great gift of salvation in his Son Christ Jesus. We should be like the apostles of old as we seek to magnify the Lord by helping to bring Jesus more fully into the world through our testimony and selfless service each day. An instructive lesson can be learned from Thomas Monson when he said “As we seek Christ, as we find him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as our constant companion always. — TS. Monson, In Search of the Christmas Spirit (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1977), 8.
Should this revelation then overshadow how our Christmas celebrations should go? The answer to this is in the negative. The season is a cheery one and in the midst of sober reflections, we should always find joy in the knowledge that we have been endowed with the gift of salvation through Christ’s unquantifiable sacrifice on the cross. Here are a number of ways to share the Christmas gift:
- Put together food baskets, hampers or cash for persons or families that not have enough to for the season
- Visit the sick, elderly or persons that do not regularly receive much company
- Write ‘thank you’ complimentary Christmas to a person, mentor, teacher or other that has been a blessing to you in one way or another.
- Randomly reach out to people who are constantly overlooked or whose services may not always get recognised
- Attend Christmas carols or Christian concerts with friends, family and loved ones.
Let this prayer be our constant companion in this period: “Lord please make an instrument of your works. Where there is darkness, let light be. Where there is sadness, joy. Where there is discord, let love grow. Where there is despair, let love flow.
Do have a very lovely Christmas celebration.
Witten by Temitayo Ogunmokun