Do you stress everyone out during the holidays or spread peace around you?
Take this Quiz to find out if you are “Martha” or “Mary.”
Arguably one of the most celebrated holidays, if not the most, Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. There is togetherness, celebrations, shared family traditions, gifts, carols, lights, Santa Claus, and snow – in some parts of the world.
We all celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, but what is the real meaning behind Christmas? What is the spiritual meaning of Christmas?
Amidst the celebrations, we get carried away and forget the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for the season. The season commemorates not only the birth of Jesus but also how He came to give us hope and restore our joy (Romans 15:12; Isaiah 53:4).
Here are some reasons for Christmas:
In the Old Testament, we see how man lost his way (Genesis 3). The prophet Isaiah prophesied of a king to come, one who would save mankind from oppression and meaninglessness and restore righteousness and justice (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Humanity as represented and led by the people of Israel, waited for thousands of years for this prophecy to come true—for their king to come and deliver them from oppression.
Eventually, an angel appeared to our Mother Mary in a small town called Nazareth (Luke 1:26-33), and the prophecy that was made a very long time ago was fulfilled in the town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-6). She gave birth to the boy child, Jesus, who would later go on to give His life for us to atone for the original sin we inherited from the first humans (which made us lost) and to free us from oppression, by showing us how to see meaning in the absurdity of life; and how to walk toward goodness and everlasting life in heaven.
At Christmas, we celebrate the love of God for mankind, a love that brought about the reconciliation of God and man, a love that restored man to God after he lost his way in the garden of Eden. In John 3:16, the Bible tells us that it was out of God’s great love for mankind that He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for us as an atonement for sin. This is the beginning of the Christmas story—the love of God.
Having lost our way, God’s love for mankind continued to move Him to restore our relationship with Him. He could not just leave us in that state of sin and separation from Him. He wanted to restore the broken relationship (Colossians 1:19-20; 1 John 4:9-10; John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, He gave us a way out: salvation through faith in His son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent to be our source of salvation and whom we celebrate at Christmas.
So, while you go about shopping or eating, remember that you’re celebrating Christmas today because of the great love that God has for you, and you should also celebrate this love at Christmas. Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus that they would come to an understanding of the extent of God’s love (Ephesians 3:14-20). You also need to come to this understanding so that you will be filled with the fullness of God this season and always.
Christmas not Xmas:
Don’t take Christ out of Christmas both in your words and action. Make Jesus your highest priority this season. Invite Him afresh into your heart and develop a new intimacy with Him this Christmas.
Take some time to reflect on God’s love for you and thank Him for this love and the gift of His Son, the source of our salvation.
Adorn your home with the Nativity scene.
Share above all, the gift befitting a saving King. Give Jesus any or all of these 7 simple things.
God had it all planned out from the very beginning on how to save mankind from his sins (1 Peter 1:20). When it was time for the execution of this plan, our Mother Mary did not disappoint. In Luke 1: 26-37, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary God’s decision to use her as the ark that bears the mediator of the new covenant, Jesus Christ, and in verse 38, we see the greatest display of humility and obedience by Mary in accepting to play a role in God’s master plan.
In his encyclical about Mary, Redemptoris Mater, Pope John Paul II wrote about how important Mary is to the salvation of all people. She was prepared by God to play this role as the new Eve who is to bring forth Jesus Christ, the new Adam ( 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 1 Corinthians 15:45-47) into the world, as seen in her immaculate conception, one of the church’s dogmas on Mary. Mary, through her obedience to God, brought Jesus Christ into the world to undo the consequences of the disobedience of the old Eve and the old Adam.
By so doing, Mary acts as a role model to the church in the latter’s cooperation with God to build His kingdom on earth, just as Mary cooperated with God to bring forth the source of our salvation.
Equally meditate on the role of Saint Joseph through these 7 Things about Him.
In conclusion, as you go about this year’s Christmas celebration, it’s necessary and important to share gifts, celebrate with family and friends, make merry, and so on. But in the midst of it all, do not forget the true meaning of the season and the message that it brings. Do not get carried away by the excitement and lose focus on the reason for the season.
Do not be a Martha. Try to be a Mary. Contemplate Christ, Mary and Joseph amid the fun, shopping and eating.