Archive for the Celebrating the birth of Christ Category
Author: Pastor Olu
Dr. David Jeremiah reiterated a point in today’s devotion about David Livingstone who was a British medical missionary of iconic proportions in nineteenth-century in England and Africa. When it was feared that Livingstone had died in Africa, the Welsh explorer H. M. Stanley went to the continent in search of the doctor. And he found him, reportedly saying with typical British politeness, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Livingstone is reported to have answered in the affirmative, saying to Stanley, “I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.” In one of the teachings of Christ, the hearers were instructed to remember Lot’s wife. The instruction was précised and pointed. It was on a timeline of events that happened thousands of years ago. The same instruction to remember a particular event in a timeline makes for history. History is the record of human action and reaction to their position in God. This season is a reminder of the coming of Jesus to the world. The accuracy of the record of time may not be accommodated by the structure of this blog, but it is worthy of its reason. The fact we are to remember in this season, is the Son of God that came all the way from Heaven to save us from the power of the enemies. The coming of Jesus is to bring us to the best we shall ever need. The reasons for His coming is to give what no man or religion can give. He came to save, to seek and to serve. Someone noted this and I quote; “if our need has been information, God would send educator. If technology He would send scientist. If money He would send economist. If pleasure He would have sent an entertainer.” What we need is far beyond what man can provide, for the cry of our evil echoes to God on a daily basis, nothing can dull the noise of our evil save the divine Deity’ sacrifice. There is no labor or sacrifice we can provide that can cover the gross and deep darkness of our sins but the blood of the spotless lamb. Christ came to establish a relationship with us through His blood. His coming is by choice of His love. He chooses us from the beginning of the world, even when in sin. We are full of activities in this period of the year. Our stores are full of shoppers engaging in buying to give, and preparing to receive from others. We struggle to remember our loved ones, the members of our family, and friends. The business of the season is causing fatigue for many. Research shows that the season makes some to have nervous breakdown. The merry nature of the season has been slaughtered on the table of cumbered care. Reflecting on this I wonder if people know that beyond the fun fair of the season is the person of the seasons that worth celebrating. I am in total agreement with exchange of gift and pleasantry. The design of God for the season is to be burden free, for the Celebrant states “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus is sent from God and He must be celebrated in the way the Father has chosen for His worship. You may ask, how do we celebrate Him? Jesus is the Lamb that came to pay the price for our sins. At the same he is the Lion, our powerful emancipator. The coming of Christ is for the purpose of saving us just as the lamb that was slain in Egypt for the remission of sins. He is the powerful Warrior that came to the rescue of his own at the Red Sea. Remember the Sent one came to pay our ransom and redeem us from satan, sin, and sickness. Only Jesus can save us from sin. The invitation is to join the magi to worship the King Jesus.
Author: Pastor Olu
It is Christmas time again, ‘how time flies’ says a friend to me looking back at what happened in the year all over the world and in the church. This blog will not be able to contain all that media channels informed us. There are many schools of thoughts as to how Christians take Christmas. Some people say that Christians should not celebrate Christmas by decorating a tree and exchanging gifts. They say that there is no record that the early church ever celebrated the holiday, and there is no proof that Jesus was really born on December 25, and that the date was chosen as an alternative to the pagan celebration of Saturnalia. I remember some years ago when I was young that Christmas Eve and day was taking for carnival time. Like the crowds then I took to the streets dancing, singing, and playing with mates. Then I would dress in uniform that my parents bought for my siblings and me, and go from house to house expecting a tip or some goody eating, at the end of the day I saw it as a time of fun and merry making.
Looking at all the events then it was fun. Fun in the sense that people exchanged pleasantries and good wishes to each other. Word of love was shared between people of close acquaintances. The interesting thing enjoyed then was the creation of time to attend to others in the Spirit of love. This was awesome and it was my wish then that everyday would be Christmas; till I grew older and hear the adage that everyday is not Christmas. The willingness to help neighbors was palpable and done with all readiness of mind.
This week we are in the season; which came pretty close to this year’s thanksgiving, which was the last Thursday of November. We see people preparing for this season by buying, giving, greeting and so on. As much as the practice is good, there is this question in my heart and the question is what is the center of this season?
First I will like to thank God for the controversies that permeates the air as this makes for searching for answer to the reason for this season. The practices around are good. As good as this practice is, it does not answer the question why this season? It is possible to forget the center and be carried away by its fun. The center for this season is Christ; since it was according to general believe that the entire world is celebrating the birth of Christ (time of the birth is not my argument in this blog). With this in mind, the season is more than tinsels and toys, trees and toddies, gifts and greetings. It is not merely a word of goodwill lightly spoken and soon forgotten in the raucous cries of conflict. Therefore since Christ is the center of this season we then look for His legacy and the purpose of coming to the world. Talking about His legacy we talk of peace (He is the Prince of Peace). His coming to the world is to give peace. He came to make peace between man and his Maker. The birth of Christ is best interpreted as God stooping low to lift men up out of the dreg and drench of sin and mire clay of our world. Our world can best be described, as the one that has forgotten God and His will to save the lost.
The ceremony we are having in this season (not minding the embedded or discovered theology) started in Bethlehem and spread to other parts of the world. The spread reached to Jerusalem, Samaria and its beyond. The season did not stop at Bethlehem but epoch at Calvary. This season is worth its celebration; because of the empty tomb that we have with us today. The coming of Christ to our world (which we are celebrating in this season) points us to hope of glory we shall see in Him on the throne. The season is telling us He is the one waiting for His enemies to become His footstool. It is the good news of salvation to all men who will receive it. This Christ came to the world to bring sons and daughters to God.
The story for this season as displayed by the shepherd who receives the message from the angels gave us the blue print of what we must do with Him. Come to Him and worship Christ the Lord. The wise ones from the Far East saw His star and they came to Him and worshipped Him. Anyone that comes to Him receives instructions to know the Truth, the Way and the Life. Christ came to demonstrate the Kingdom of heaven on earth. At this season we must have Christ in the center of our lives. This puts the zeal of heaven upon our lives.
In conclusion we must realize the true meaning of Christmas, we must look beyond the crib to the cross, from the Babe in a feeding trough to the Man on a tree, from the occupied manger to the empty tomb, yea, to the occupied throne. Thus Christmas becomes more than a day on a calendar. Christmas envisions eternal vistas—even eternal life for you. It is only when you understand this you can merry this Christmas.