Today, we have all gathered to celebrate the birth of Our Lord. The prophet Isaiah prophesied, “all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God”. The book of Hebrews tells us, “in these last days, God has spoken to us through the Son”. John in the gospel says, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”. Dearest ones, it is this Word that became flesh hat we have all come to adore.
While Christmas is the celebration of that light which John says enlightens everyone, it is important to ask ourselves, will that light shine out in my life today? Today, we live in a world clouded in darkness of sin. Just yesterday, for example, I read an article in New York times about an old woman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who posted an appeal on Craigslist which says: “Does anybody need a grandma for Christmas? I will bring food and gifts for the kids! I have nobody and it really hurts”.
In the responses given to her post, some were so cruel, “one asking her to go kill herself”, while another telling her, “she is a parasite hoping to prey on a generous family”. Reading through them, I asked myself, what kind of a world do we live in today? A world that is ruled by hate and has lost all milk of human kindness.
It is this world that Christ is born to save. Therefore, it is important to remind ourselves that Christmas is about Christ and what God did for us and not just about ourselves and our selfish desires. To remind me of this truth, a friend jokingly sent me what he called 3 Christmas rules: “If you can’t afford new clothes, wear the ones you already have. It’s Jesus’ birthday and not yours. You mustn’t “out dress” the celebrant.” “If you can’t afford the kind of food you want, eat what you have and move on. If you don’t tell people what you ate, no one knows since your stomach has no “show glass.” “If you don’t have the money to travel back to Memphis, stay where you are. After all, Jesus wasn’t born in Memphis and it is not the appointed place for His Birthday celebration either”.
Though we may laugh over these words, they remind us that Christmas is not necessarily about us, but about God’s love for us in Christ. The important question today is what impact will Christ’s birth make in my spiritual life besides the social joy that comes with it. Remember, while we thankfully celebrate Christmas, we also dedicate ourselves to being the instrument of God’s presence into the life of others.