The Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
The Word became flesh, and we have seen his glory (Jn 1:14).
The salvation history can be roughly divided into two parts: the first began with Abraham, and the second with Jesus. In both these instances the protagonists are two families: the family of Abraham and Sarah and the Family of Joseph and Mary. Further similarities and contrasts revolve around the fact that both these families were unable to have a child for diverse reasons; Abraham and Sarah were well past reproductive age whereas Mary and Joseph were only betrothed and unable to have a child at the time her consent was sought. But by the sheer power of God’s Word, the obstacles are removed and there emerged a multitude of descendants, in the case of Abraham natural descendants and in the case of the family of Jesus, spiritual descendants all over the world and for all ages.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a child who transformed the world as nobody else has ever done or can do. Though the parents of Jesus were natives of Galilee, Jesus was born in Bethlehem because of a census ordered by Caesar Augustus which required that each one should enroll at their ancestor city. Whether there was such a census at that time, or was it compulsory also for the wife to travel along, or Mary who was in advanced stage of pregnancy would have made such a tedious journey are all beside
the point or for scholars to explore. The evangelist is giving us a description of the birth of the child which is beyond comparison and truly heavenly. No wonder the following themes of Luke are subjects of paintings and depictions that elevate the human minds to contemplate the glory of God, such as the birth of Jesus in a manger, the motherly instinct of Mary shown in tightly wrapping the child in swaddling clothes, the announcement of the birth to shepherds in the field, the heavenly glory that appeared with the angel, the good news about the birth of the Saviour and the appearance of the heavenly hosts praising and glorifying God.
With the coming of God’s Son the darkness that prophet Isaiah speaks of is removed. In its place we now have the joy. Christmas is a time of giving and sharing. We receive and we give gifts. But the true joy that Christmas brings is not the joy that material things can give. It is the inner joy of belonging to Jesus who is our “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” Let this Christmas for which we have been preparing for the last four weeks, be a new beginning in our lives which is something God is actually interested in.