Christmas day 2012.
I went out to deliver gifts with my wife and my brother in law. Upon reaching an intersection, a familiar sight approaches our car. The beggar wants to make it big on Christmas day. Appearing gleamed by the sunlight reflecting off the side mirror, she was squinting while mumbling her spiels.
It’s Christmas day, I thought. How do these people celebrate Christmas?
It brought me to a previous musings that I had about Christmas.
What might Christmas be for poor people?
What might Christmas be for divorced moms?
What might Christmas be for the blind?
What might Christmas be for a man advancing in years alone?
What might Christmas be for a felon?
What might Christmas be for an orphan or a cancer patient or nurse-on-duty, or garbage collector, or a suicidal, or a bullied, or a homosexual, or patient, or a molested boy, and so on.
Could it be that along with every less fortunate or bitter people around the world, they are thinking that they don’t merit Christmas?
Is it true in our society that only the fortunate in circumstance could merit a Christmas celebration?
Sometimes people think that as long as they are poor and rugged, as long as they can not afford a noche buena, then Christmas isn’t for them. Can there really be no celebration of Christmas if there is no food on the table or someone in the family is missing for a family picture?
If those might be the case, have we tried asking why the announcement of the birth of Jesus was first revealed to a group of cold, rugged and probably hungry shepherds in the field?
They were dirty, hungry, sad, poor, and cold, yet God made sure that their Christmas doesn’t have to be cold.
God made sure that the coldness brought by the darkness in their hearts will be overthrown by the light that has come into the world that night.
Have we also looked into the reason why these same people went out praising and dancing their way back to the field (still probably hungry) after witnessing and seeing the child the angel was telling them about?
Christmas reveals the person of Jesus. And the joy of Christmas stems from that revelation.
Any joy that is celebrated and derived apart from Jesus will always be momentary.
Come to think of how we have veered away from what Christmas really is. It has become about money, food, relatives, carols, reunions, and family. None of those are bad at all. But if Christmas has become more of that and not much about Jesus, then we are jsut gunning for a transitory joy instead of a deep, unmovable, and unquecnchable joy.
The joy of Christmas stems from realizing that we all do not merit Christmas yet it has been given to us as a gift.
The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Meaning we all don’t merit Christmas but Christmas was brought to us!
I hope and pray that we don’t become like the innkeeper who refused Christmas to happen in his home.
With this in mind, I go back to the poor, afflicted, depressed, and cold. Yes they don’t merit Christmas and so do I and you and all of us. I can receive the gift of joy and so does everyone. It is good for the us to give alms, feed the hungry, and do all sorts of minstries. But it’s understandable that the end goal should be the preaching of the gospel cause only the gospel of Jesus can bring hope and everlasting joy even to the coldest and darkest hearts.