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Christmas has different meanings for different people. However, regardless of the various significances it may have and the different names people may give it (for example, Xmas) and the controversies concerning the exact date it should be celebrated, Christmas has been recognized by many countries as one of their national holidays. Christmas has been and remains in the future as one of the festivities diverse people around the world share with excitement.
Wait, why should it deserve such a global recognition and worldwide celebration for more than twenty centuries? This is because the birth of Christ has impacted the human race in many ways and at various levels than any other single incident in the history of the universe. It was a turning point. It left an indelible mark on humanity’s history.
I presume, even those who don’t believe in Christ may admit the fact that this incident ‘put a dent on the universe’, as the late Steve Jobs used to say. Just one good universal example is the use of His birth to divide humanity’s history into two major timelines. We use BC and AD (anno Domini) to refer dates Before and After the birth of Christ, respectively.
The second reason why it deserves worldwide celebration is its universal message: hope and peace. Though our world is diverse and we are divided over so many issues, Christmas seems a universally shared season that brings hope, peace, and inspiration in many parts of the world. It is a season of rejuvenation and refreshment. It fills the air with unexplainable peace and brotherhood/sisterhood. That is why we extend that the same hope and peace we experience in this season to others. We greet our fellow friends, colleagues, and relatives with good will words such as Merry Christmas, Happy Xmas, and Happy Holidays.
The third reason is that Christmas is a universal gift that has been crossing cultures for thousands of years. For that matter, history once recorded that the spirit of Christmas brought soldiers from two rival camps together. This extraordinary event happened in the early going of World War I in 1914. On that fateful cold winter Christmas day, soldiers from both camps found themselves in the trenches and away from their loved ones. Though they were trained to fire and kill as many soldiers from the other side as possible, they rather embraced the spirit of Christmas. Soldiers from both camps, without getting any official order from their superiors, put their arms down, the hostility aside, and they came out of the trenches, shook hands, exchanged gifts, good wills, and played. John McCutcheon dedicated his song entitled “Christmas In The Trenches” in memory of this sacred day (you may find his song from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9coPzDx6tA)
Christmas also represents love and restoration. It was a day Divine transcended from eternity to time and space to visit the human race and demonstrate His unconditional love. Without seeking permission and making a big noise, He intruded our space and revealed His love. This ‘unofficial’ and ‘unannounced’ visit caught humanity by surprise, which had been alienated itself from the Divine, its Creator.
It was a sweet visit aimed at reuniting the ‘Family’. He knocked our territory humbly and offered an opportunity of redemption and restoration. His birth was a key that opened the door for us to rediscover our true source, identity, and rightful place of inheritance. The day represents the unconditional intention of God to reach out and amend the relationship between Him and His people. That was a day that shattered the old age barrier that had kept humanity in the dark, confusion, despair, and from reclaiming its true place in God’s Kingdom, which is eternal. It was a gesture of mercy, forgiveness, and a demonstration of unconditional love to those members of the Family who lost their way home. This gesture has been extended for many generations in the past and still applies to this generation, and for many more upcoming generations.
This is the day that reassures us many promises because Divine from eternity visited earth to live among us and reassure us that we are:
- Not orphans but rather loved unconditionally;
- In this world but not of this world; we are here for a mission;
- Here temporarily and until we phase out at some point but we will go back home from where we have come originally as soon as we are done with our assignments;
- Away from home and might feel abandoned and separated while we are here but we aren’t alone even for a fraction of second since His Spirit remains in us all the time;
- Tied up with space but He is in us and we are in Him, who isn’t limited by space;
- Inseparable- we are one; and
- Bound by time but time is within eternity and we are in eternity now.
This day should also be a reminder for those of us who might feel that we aren’t perfect, holy, or successful enough to gain His attention and love. Who we are and our true nature is what matters. That is what caused the Divine to leave His domain, put our flesh, and bind Himself within space and time, and live like one of us. That is why this gift of Christmas is available for all of us, and regardless of our status in life right now.
However, it wasn’t like He was born and that was it. He became a prototype and proved to us that we are:
- Not just blood and flesh;
- Spirits and eternal like our Father;
- And what is in us is stronger than what is in the world.
He also reminded us not to worry about what we would eat, drink, and cloth. He came and lived among us to lift our eyes and show us what is important and enduring. He passed through challenges and overcame it, and told us that we would have tribulations in this world but we would overcome it as He did. That is so true:
- We may fall more than once but will rise up again since resilience is in our blood
- We may get lost once in a while but we will be restored and found
- We may experience some damages but we will be restored
These are some of the redemptive and restorative promises, unlike other seasons, Christmas brings, and therefore:
- Let’s enjoy the season with its promises and excitements.
- Let’s celebrate Christmas seeking peace within ourselves and with others.
- Setting hostility and hate aside, let’s show love and tolerance for one another.
- Regardless of our race, color, ethnicity, and cultural background, let’s embrace this common heritage together by exchanging good wills.
- Let’s embrace the unconditional love of the Divine and regardless of how we have been performing in the past twelve months, and how low we have gone down…
Let’s celebrate the Christmas season by restoring whatever has been lost, destroyed, or broken. It could be our soul, health, relationships, and so on. This is the season we should be thankful and at the same time expectant of good things. Rather than focusing on the loss and pain, let’s redirect our focus on the bright side, and embrace the spirit of Christmas.
AHM wishes its partners Merry Christmas!