A speech on Christmas day
How joyful is this day. What a beautiful night when we gather to praise the child in the manger, celebrating 2017 years that have passed in fulfillment of the promise and the expected time being at hand.
Dear all, on this very day 21 centuries ago, the promise was given to Adam our father and Eve our mother, that the descendant of a woman will crush the head of Satan.
All of humanity kept waiting and waiting for many centuries wondering when will ‘Shilone’ arrive who will grant salvation to humanity. That’s why we would like, tonight, on this blessed night to contemplate together God’s work with us along the ages aiming only at our salvation, peace and contentment.
The Lord Jesus Christ has shouldered a lot of hardships to grant us a lot of graces through His amazing incarnation. We are going to contemplate these graces as much as we have time.
First: He descended and was incarnated:
Once Adam and Eve’s disobedience drew an obstacle and a barrier between God and man, and once humanity was helpless, unable to lift itself and reach up to God having fallen by sin, there was no other solution except that God descends from up High from His heaven to pull us up to him.
Amazingly the creator of heaven and earth the omnipotent takes up a physical body similar to man except for sin in order to fulfill redemption through a human body. Adam and Eve disobeyed God who is unlimited and the punishment being death so the one who pays for such a sin must be:
- A human being, flesh and blood, because the one who sinned is a human being.
- He must be without sin to be able to pay the debt of a sinner.
- He must be of the same rank as God – no one is -!!
If we look for such a person among humans along the ages we won’t find such such a person with these three characteristics .. Hence it was a must that God himself descends from up high to accomplish this amazing task.
The justice of God banished Adam & Eve from the Lord’s presence, yet God’s mercy wanted to relieve man from such a punishment, that’s why in Jesus Christ mercy and justice meet and peace and righteousness were mingled together, thus was the amazing birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Being without sin: He is “holy” as was mentioned by Gabriel the angel “the holy one born unto you is called the Son of God.”
Jesus Christ being born of the Virgin Mary is a whole human being.
Being of the same rank a God: He is equal to Him, because He is the Logos, the uttered word of God’s mind. He is the ‘word of God’. “The word (Logos) took a physical body and was found among us. We saw His glory, the glory of the only begotten son to his father, full of grace and truth.”
All characteristics required for the redeemer were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ and no one else could have shouldered such a task, that’s why we regard the Lord Jesus Christ as the only redeemer.
Second: He offered redemption without hesitance:
The Lord Jesus Christ came unto earth targeting salvation for humanity. Although humanity is aware that there is a barrier between man and God, yet humanity knew that there will come a savior mentioned in many prophecies in the Holy Scripture in the Old Testament with particular and staggering characteristics that leaves no space to any doubt. It was said “He will be born of a virgin” and that He will be ‘meek’, victorious, seated on a donkey’s colt. The Heavens bore witness to His birth. Angels appeared to the Shepherds. The earth bore witness as well by the advent of the Magi from the Eastern lands carrying significant presents; Gold referred to His being a king, it refers to His royalty – the incense to His priesthood and the myrrh to the pains and sufferings that He was going to bear. Despite all these clear signs, yet the Lord Jesus Christ came for His own people but his people didn’t recognize Him. Moreover when he made many miracles to bear witness to His identity, the Jews didn’t pay attention to His miracles as much as they were skeptic about Him and resisted Him by saying that he orders deamons out by the power of Beelzebub the head of deamons. Some other time they would say that He is a Samaritan and is obsessed by a deamon. They accused Him of eating with sinners and tax collectors.
Even Simon the Pharisee, who invited him to a banquet, was suspicious about Him. He said, “If he were a prophet, he would have known the reality of that woman, that she is a sinner.”
Despite all these obstacles, the Lord Jesus Christ never hesitated to tread the path of the cross to fulfill redemption. He was a perfect example of true fatherhood, sacrificing everything for His children even if they don’t realize it, or were not aware of the dangers and threats surrounding them, He remains the good shepherd who sacrifices his life for his sheep even if the sheep don’t realize it. The Lord Jesus Christ completed His mission. He said in john 17 “The task you assigned to me, I have completed”. On the cross He said His famous word: “it is complete.” He achieved redemption without paying attention to being refused by humanity. He wasn’t affected by the challenges and accusation that He faced during achieving his mission.
Third: He offered a free redemption:
The best thing about redemption is that it was given free. For if humanity had realized the need and importance of this redemption would it be able to pay its cost? The question remains without any answer on the spiritual level. What did God ask for in return to this redemption? And what did humanity offer in return?
The Lord Jesus suffered greatly as He was calling upon humanity to accept His words. He even once said, “If you can’t believe my words at least believe in my acts.” Yet “humanity closed its ears so as not to listen and shunned Him out of their hearts, turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to Him.” Thus humanity refused the salvation offered to it from Heaven, yet the Lord Christ fulfilled it for free. He only asked to give Him our hearts to be dedicated to Him, “Son dedicate your heart to me and let your eyes watch out unto my path”.
At the beginning of prayers, the priest calls out, “what occupies your hearts?” and the congregation answers “the Lord”. The question is whether we answer truthfully or not. This means that our hearts, while living in the world, must be in the hands of God. Hopefully, it is not the other way round.
The status of humanity nowadays is to be pitied. Heaven offered the best gift to man. He was banished, yet the lord Himself descended unto our earth, looked for him to save him. Yet humanity rejected Him. The Jews resisted Him, the Romans crucified him, His disciple denied him and another one delivered Him to be crucified. Today there are still a group of people who do not recognize Him. We pray for them to know Him and accept him as a savior, redeemer and God. The Lord Christ, despite all this resistance, he offered salvation for free.
Hence, the very words of St. Paul, “while being sinners, Christ died for our sake”. Moreover, after having opened up to us the gates of heaven, The Lord Jesus Christ would still accept us if we repent and get back to Him forgetting our sinful past, as if it had never existed. Heavens was very generous offering humanity salvation and redemption. The question remains what has humanity offered in return?
- What is required is to dedicate your heart to God
Let’s ask ourselves what occupies our hearts, are they dedicated to God or to someone else or something else. Some are occupied by greed, fame, worldly posts. Very few have dedicated their hearts to God without content.
The heart that is occupied by the Lord Jesus Christ is full of love for God is love. Such a heart is an illuminated heart for God is all light without any trace of darkness. Also such a heart is a happy one, for heaven teams with joy without any trace of sadness. Again such a heart is overwhelmed by peace because our Lord Jesus Christ is our prince of peace.
It is a call to us all to revise our tendencies and our heart-felt inclinations on the spiritual level. Let’s measure our lives on our role model Jesus to know where exactly we stand. Your heart is the source of life. But if it is not dedicated to God, it becomes stingy and deceitful as described in the holy bible. We need to examine our hearts to lead us unto eternal life.
On this holy night we pray to God that he may get hold of our hearts, purify them, renew them and assign them to himself to be totally His. We ask God to keep us safe and sound growing in grace for all good deeds and spiritual knowledge, purifying our hearts to reach unto eternal life.
Merry Christmas and happy New year to all. To God Almighty the power and the glory to the end of days. Amen.