By; SAMSON YAKI
Though Jesus Christ was born on 21st August 7 BC, the celebration of Christmas on 25 December as Jesus’ birthday does not in any way take away the meaning and the spirit of the celebration. Jesus came to give life to man and to give it more abundantly. As Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “I come at the bidding of one who is my Master and whom you shall love and nurture. To you, Mary, I bring glad tidings when I announce that the conception within you is ordained by heaven, and that in due time you will become the mother of a son; you shall call him Joshua (Jesus), and he shall inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth and among men. And doubt not my word, Mary, for this home has been chosen as the mortal habitat of the child of destiny. My benediction rests upon you, the power of the Most Highs will strengthen you, and the Lord of all the earth shall overshadow you.”
At first to the Jews regarded the coming of the Messiah as one that would to liberate them from the yoke of the Roman Empire but Jesus assignment was clearly stated was he was presented at the temple for dedication.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
For he has visited us and wrought redemption for his people;
He has raised up a horn of salvation for all of us
In the house of his servant David.
Even as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets —
Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
To show mercy to our fathers, and remember his holy covenant —
The oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
To grant us that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,
Should serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Yes, and you, child of promise, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you shall go before the face of the Lord to establish his kingdom;
To give knowledge of salvation to his people
In the remission of their sins.
Rejoice in the tender mercy of our God because the dayspring from on high has now visited us
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
To guide our feet into ways of peace.
And now let your servant depart in peace, O Lord, according to your word,
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
A light for even the unveiling of the gentiles
And the glory of your people Israel.
The event of Christmas is very spectacular and as unique a celebration that cuts across the world in no small measure. A boom in business activities around the world during Christmas has no equivalence to any celebration in any manner. Mass movement of people to their various homes and villages/towns to celebrate Christmas is an apparent touch of Christmas on humanity. Christmas is also characterized by gift giving and exchange of pleasantries to and from loved ones. The uniqueness of the celebration is its uniformity in timing and acceptability by many Christians all over the world.
Though as great as the occasion of celebration of Christmas is, many are still ignorant of the essence and significance of Christmas. Christians ought to know that Christmas should not be likened to social affairs but a celebration of salvation. A celebration of the man who became a son of Man so that Humanity can become the sons of God. A celebration of a man who was born in a manger for you to have a Mansion in Heaven. A celebration of the man whose birth was the birth of revelation of the Kingdom of God in Heaven. A revelation that puts responsibility upon Christians, to have inspiration that generate manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth.
The season of Christmas is the season of revelation of worship of God in Heaven. The worship which must be in spirit and in substance. The celebration of Christmas is the celebration of man’s commitment to defend the course of Christ, to defend the course of salvation and spread such as well. Jesus said ye are the light and the salt of the world, therefore celebration of Christmas should be the celebration of light and the salt of the world as Christians. In fact Jesus had already provided the template for human relations on earth which is to love the father in heaven and to love fellow humans.
True it is, indeed, that in his full, rich, beautiful, and noble life we may all find much that is exquisitely exemplary, divinely inspiring, but this is because he lived a true and genuinely human life. Jesus did not live his life on earth in order to set an example for all other human beings to copy. He lived this life in the flesh by the same mercy ministry that you all may live your lives on earth; and as he lived his mortal life in his day and as he was, so did he thereby set the example for all of us thus to live our lives in our day and as we are. You may not aspire to live his life, but you can resolve to live your lives even as, and by the same means that, he lived his. Jesus may not be the technical and detailed example for all the mortals of all ages on all the realms of this local universe, but he is everlastingly the inspiration and guide of all Paradise pilgrims from the worlds of initial ascension up through a universe of universes to Paradise. Jesus is the new and living way from man to God, from the partial to the perfect, from the earthly to the heavenly, from time to eternity.
This should preoccupy the minds of Christians as we celebrate Christmas and beyond.
As Nigerians wade through the hard economic times especially with the present fuel scarcity, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ will be a pacesetter and a pathfinder in all our earthly life to be ever prayerful, cheerful, lovely, peace loving people and true worshipers of the father in Heaven.
Yaki is New Nigerian Newspapers Nasarawa State correspondent