December 22, 2021
We all have our own expectations on how we want Christmas to look like this year. Our expectations are shaped from what we take from our past experiences and the voices we hear around us.
Those expectations emerge from our desires—to have our needs met, to be noticed, to be consoled, to feel secure, and to have a sense of significance.
Sadly, with the reality of our global, national, or family conditions, these needs are most probably being poorly met.
Do my needs even matter in light of everything else that’s happening?
With all the turmoil and unrest right now, you may be one of those who don’t have much to expect this Christmas. Or you may be someone who has had a good experience of this season so far and are excited for what’s still to come. Whichever you identify with, may the story we will look into give you a fresh insight on how we make sense of Christmas.
Since Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, let us take a look in one of the accounts in the Bible when Jesus was born, as told by one of the Gospel authors, Luke.
Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth in the context of a dominating presence of the Roman Empire.
Joseph, together with his pregnant wife, Mary, had to travel to the city of Bethlehem by necessity because a census was ordered by the highest ruler of the land, Caesar Augustus.
That was the situation when Jesus was born. It was a time when a lot of people were moving around to serve the ruler’s purpose of increasing the budget to expand his territory. He was treating his constituents as numbers and commodities to gain more power.
The emperor’s voice was the one most audible and powerful in the land, and everyone who heard it would move and obey in the direction he pleased.
But there was another voice that was heard that time, which made the difference.
Though it was not mentioned in the account, because He was but a baby, we can say that Jesus cried as He entered the world.
In the unfolding history of the Roman Empire, an ordinary Jewish baby crying would not make the headlines. We would not find it in the diary of the emperor called The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.
In light of everything that was happening, how significant is one baby’s cry?
Imagine with me when Jesus cried after His birth: Our God breathing the air that He gave us so He could live—the Son of God becoming fully man. God had breathed into Him the breath of life that enables someone to have a voice, the voice that can either build up or destroy.
So who heard and could have noticed the first cries of the Messiah?
According to Luke, there was Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds.
As it was also told, they heard about the baby in an atmosphere where the glory of the Lord was revealed and the good news of great joy was proclaimed through the angels.
So the cry of the Messiah was heard by the ordinary individuals in their culture and the heavenly beings.
The first cries of the Savior were known in all the heavens but were barely heard on earth.
Yet the voice of the Messiah, who pays attention to the unseen and unheard, was the one that made the most significant impact in the lives of those who heard it.
This is the narrative that turns the world upside down.
This Christmas season, does it matter who has got the loudest voice in the news?
Does it matter who seems to be in control of the narrative?
What matters is who really pays attention to our deepest desires, our need to be heard, to be seen, to be treated with value. And He did so not by making any powerful decree, but by identifying with our humanity.
May we find the courage to turn off the noise that demands our attention, and hear His voice that says: “I see you and I AM here with you.”