It is the Christmas season. There are preparations everywhere. In the supermarkets, one section is set apart only for Christmas cakes, toys and decorative items, even from the month of October. Young and old waiting to celebrate Christmas. Advance Christmas gatherings, and parties are already scheduled. There will be new dresses, cards, delicious cakes and cookies ...... all these and more.
Once a little child was asked what is this Christmas all about? The prompt reply was the birthday of Santa Claus. No wonder, the child sees only the Santa Claus everywhere and tends to think it is his birthday. The effect of commercialization of Christmas! Christmas cards are designed without the picture of Jesus Christ and instead of wishing the receiver a “happy Christmas” they use the words “season’s greetings”. Could it be that they are scared of the Holy Name of Jesus or they are deep in the culture of commercialization ?
If Christmas keeps Christ out, it will not be bringing us the full joy it ought to bring. “Jesus came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. (John 1:11). It will not cause in us any increase of grace, love, goodness and generosity. It won’t transform our lives. The purpose of Christ coming into the world will not be fulfilled in our life. Can you imagine your birthday party in which you are not allowed to be present? Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Can we keep Christ out of our celebration?
A Christ-less Christmas is such a sad thing. That is why we have the advent season where we make due preparation for Christmas and welcome Christ into our life and into our communities. Listen to the great apostle Paul who tells us how to prepare ourselves for welcoming Christ. “It is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:11-14). What an interesting metaphor that Paul likens Jesus to clothing that we can wear. We are to clothe ourselves with Jesus.
Yes, Advent is the time of expectation, longing, waiting and preparations for the coming of the Redeemer, so let our expectations and preparations be filled with deeds of light, deeds of charity, justice, and peace. Let us make our hearts blameless to be ready to receive Jesus, so that we will have a Christ-filled Christmas leading us to the peace and joy of the new born king. Have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.