Drops of rain falling, lightning from the heavens and loud thunders signifying the Lord’s powerful presence. In Singapore, our so called winter season is the Monsoon while in most countries, winter vacation has already started and they celebrated thanksgiving on Thursday (for the Americans). Their students started their holidays long before us. The adults also had begun their vacation while our parents/siblings are still working. Well, here I go to criticize the “always must be the best” attitude from our Singaporean tradition for three generations.
Though we might not have snow, we have rain everyday which is good enough for me. It cools us down from the everyday tropical sun. Rain can evaporate. In countries with four seasons, they have to use a snow shovel to clear their walkways of their houses.
Christmas is the traditional Christian occasion to celebrate the birthday of our Lord, our Saviour, the Messiah and Redeemer: Lord Jesus Christ, my God whom I worship and revere most in my heart. Without his saving, no one could imagine what we’ll be like right now. What’ll be God’s precious Earth like right now if Satan had won. It’ll be hell on Earth. Not really hell, but people will act very differently with no sense of morality, of what’s right and wrong.
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done; on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Christmas, once an occasion celebrated mostly by Christians in the past is now celebrated by all as a Global social gathering. Adapted by many cultures. The secular world celebrates Christmas as having a tree in the house, having turkey and ham, and the tradition of exchanging presents.
God by right is to receive the biggest present for his birthday, which is our love and devotion to him as he loves and devotes himself to us so much that he sacrificed his life for us. So, brothers and sisters in Christ, please do remember to devote the day to Christ on the holy occasion.
Christmas is sometimes criticized as using 25th December which is the pagan festival of the Unconquered Sun or the Festival of the Sun God, Sol Invictus. According to scripture readings studied by some during the reign of Emperor Constantine I (my patron saint) the feast was assimilated as the birthday of Jesus, associating him with the ‘sun of righteousness’ mentioned in Malachi 4: 2 Furthermore in the Fourth Century it has been said: “ But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December … the eight before the calends of January [25 December] …, But they call it the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered’. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord …? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice.”—-St. John Chrysostom ; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Dies_Natalis_Solis_Invicti
Truth be told, it matters not. Though it is of great debate when Jesus was really born, unless if we discover time-travel to travel back 2000 years to actually know the day and month of 1 AD and when Jesus was born. Jesus is the incarnation of God who came down and took the unworthy flesh of man to save his children . Yes, Jesus came down to save us. (I will never get tired of saying this)
Christmas…. Present-exchanging isn’t really bad at all. I remember the action figures (mostly Star Wars ones.), cups (from my youngest paternal aunt), chocolates and now a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Handphone and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Tablet. But we don’t want to rob the children’s fantasy of Santa Claus, and for me, I prefer the name Father Christmas or St. Nicholas. I learnt the hard way last year in a homily by the priest who switched the letters of the word Santa into Satan, the Deceiver whom I hate to the ends of the Earth. Why? I think that though it’s a tradition to make us happy, buying presents leaves us with the desire for something more the next Christmas. We have the sin of Greed and Envy as well. Envy, because in a situation like this, if this kid sees his/her sibling with a better gift, he would want it too. (I’m speaking from experience.)
Really, I’m not trying to discourage you guys to not exchange presents. Go! Have a Merry Happy Christmas!! But do always remember this, Christmas is the Lord’s Birthday and so devote that day to him by prayer of thanksgiving. Thank him for the food you and your family will be eating in your Christmas dinners. Children, thank your presents and the Lord also for your presents. His best present yet would be our Salvation, our eternal life in Heaven. Also pray for our brothers and sisters, who cannot celebrate Christmas, mostly our people from the Middle East. Particularly those whose lives are threatened by the barbaric murdering savage ISIS who call themselves the Islamic State and claim to be fighting for God when they are actually fighting for the Devil.
That is all. Happy Holidays all! Have a Happy Merry Christmas.