The reason for this season

    December 25 is the day Jesus Christ – the Messiah and our Savior – was supposed to be born.   Whether He was born on the said day or not, the big news is that He came into this world to die for our sins (check John 3:16 for that).

    Let us celebrate Christmas not because of the merry-making it brings, but because the Son of God did live with us.   As George Mathew Adams reminds: "Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years. Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."

    Yesterday, when I opened my e-mail, I was surprised to receive a message from a friend.  Actually, it is a forwarded message and I read it several times.  The message is clear: we celebrate Christmas because of gifts, foods, mirth, reunion, and bonuses.

    Where is Jesus Christ in the picture?   Do we still pay homage to the One who sustain all of us through these years?  Who do we go to when we are lonely?  Who do we call when we are down?   Who do you think comfort us when all things go wrong?

    Now, here’s the message which started all this thought.   Please listen to His words as we celebrate this year’s Christmas season:

    "As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated. During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

    "It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration. Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don’t know the meaning of the celebration.

    "I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts. But, do you want to know something? I wasn’t invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn’t remember to send me an invitation.

    "The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face – and I wanted to be with them and share their table. In truth, that didn’t surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me.

    "Since I was not invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a great time. To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: ‘Santa Claus, Santa Claus’ – as if the party were in his honor!

    "At 12 midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me.   And do you know what?  No one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me.

    "What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left. Every year it gets worse. People only remember to eat and drink, the gifts, the parties and nobody remembers me. I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life. I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.

    "I want to share something with you. As many didn’t invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined — a spectacular party. I’m still making the final arrangements. Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book. Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party. Those who don’t answer the invitation will be left outside.

    "Do you know how you can answer this invitation?  It is by extending it to others whom you care for.  I’ll be waiting for all of you to attend my party this year.   See you soon and I love you!"

    This reminds me of the words of American film actor and comedian Bob Hope when he was still alive.   He said, "My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"

    Charles Dickens, the English author of A Christmas Carol, once penned: "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." 

    I think I will honor Christ in my heart more than Christmas.  What do you think?


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