December 02, 2020
It’s 23 days until Christmas! It’s encouraging to see that, while our lives are far from ideal because of our current situation, many people still find reasons to celebrate Christmas.
For many of us, Christmas 2020 may look very different:
Some of us may be having financial challenges like never before. Maybe you’re used to a certain Christmas decor setup and Noche Buena celebration at home. But because one of your parents lost a job or a business this year or you are still trying to recover losses from calamities that affected you, things may not look the same this year.
Some of us may not be able to celebrate with loved ones. Maybe you’re used to being with loved ones for Christmas—siblings you love to sing videoke with during family reunions or titas who grill you about your studies, your weight, and your love life. But because you may have lost a loved one or it may be too hard to go home to your family for the holidays, reunions may not happen this year.
We may no longer expect the gatherings and gifts of the previous years. Maybe you’re used to having the same people around for Christmas—people you love to celebrate Christmas parties with or hang out with at shopping malls in between buying gifts. But because big gatherings are being avoided and we may have tightened our budget for gifts, celebrations may not look the same this year.
However, in spite of the things that we’ve been stripped of this year, why is Christmas still worth celebrating? How can we make this Christmas season worthwhile despite the challenges we faced this year?
By remembering Jesus Christ, the reason for the season.
Christmas is often associated with colorful lights and lavish parties, but we must never forget that on the first Christmas Eve, Jesus came to a dark and broken world to heal the brokenhearted and to save those who are crushed in spirit.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)
Are you grieving? Are you brokenhearted? Are you in despair? Is your soul downcast? Jesus Christ came for you.
He did not come to save those who have it all together. He didn’t come to heal the self-sufficient. He came for you and me—hopeless, broken, insecure, spiritually dead people.
If you feel like this season is dark and devoid of hope, take heart. That’s exactly why Jesus came: to give light and inspire hope. The darkness that we’re experiencing compels us to celebrate Christmas.
COVID-19 has stripped us of so many things. Yet, stripped to the bare necessities, we started to perceive what was truly essential, we realized the brevity of life, and we saw how worldly things can only give temporary satisfaction.
For those who believe in the hope of eternal life that Jesus Christ brings, no matter how dismal the situation can get, we know that this is not the end.
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in Him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with His super-abundance until you radiate with hope!
Romans 15:13 (TPT)
The birth of Christ was part of a grander plan to redeem creation and save mankind. Christmas is a prelude to the cross.
When we earnestly consider Jesus’ status as Lord of the universe and Creator of all things, we can appreciate all the more the greatness of His sacrifice and the suffering He went through!
He came as a helpless baby into a poor family, His life threatened even as a toddler. He embraced the difficult life of a nomadic teacher, rejected by professional teachers and priests, and betrayed to His demise by His own followers. He died a painful death, despite His innocence, in the hands of an empire that oppressed His nation. All this so you and I can be co-heirs to what should only be rightfully His.
For you have experienced the extravagant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although He was infinitely rich, He impoverished himself for our sake, so that by His poverty, we could become rich beyond measure.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (TPT)
Jesus Christ doesn’t expect lavish parties and extravagant gift-giving from us at Christmas. When we remember Him and thank Him for all that He is and all He has given, even over a simple meal with whoever we can celebrate with, He will fill us with joy and peace beyond understanding.