No event whose message has ever been so misunderstood and misinterpreted by so many people today, that the virgin birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, which took place over 2,000 years ago in a small town of Bethlehem. Many people today due to their lack of understanding of what the Bible says about the event, have fallen prey to the temptation to cash on the glory and joy of this day. Thus, what should have been regarded as sacred and a holy day, became a dizzying season of trade and commerce. But rather than striving to rediscover its true essence, people today content themselves indulging their physical appetites and lusts such as drunkenness, sensuality, pride and foolishness.
There are, however, people who manage to capture, at least, a bit of the spirit of Christ’s birth through humane expressions of love, care and understanding. Yet even with these humanitarian acts, if they aren’t a result of a deeper, biblical understanding of Christ’s birth, they too wouldn’t make sense after all.
But how do we celebrate the spirit of Christ’s birth, if not these natural expressions of human affections toward others? What then is the true message of Christmas? The true message of Christmas is not a mystery that only a few know about it. Because since the appearance of the multitude of angels before the shepherds in the field, it was already made known to these lowly but privileged people, that the holy Savior of the whole humanity was born! The angels said,“Today In the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). In fact, even before Jesus Christ was born, an angel from the Lord had already appeared to Joseph saying, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
This is the message of Christmas that we, who are without hope and peace and are destined to God’s wrath and anger, are now blessed to have the assurance of salvation through His birth. In this season we call Christmas, once again, why don’t we commit ourselves to treasure our salvation we received from God. Let us renew our commitment that we will “work out the salvation” until He returns. If we will, we can honestly say to ourselves that we have experienced the true message of Christmas in our lives.
Therefore, even if we feel destitute of material wealth or possessions this season, we have this deeper sense of joy, thanksgiving and contentment, because we known in our hearts, that He who is called “Immanuel” is with us. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). To all of you, I pray that the bountiful blessings of Christ’s birth be with you all!
By Bishop Jonathan Ferriol