A point of view – What are gifts for Jesus on his Birthday
Christmas has been related to feasting and giving. Food and gifts play a main part in celebration. It has been so commercialized into a culture of shopping and parties. It has been a family culture of a reunion for many Christians too. The Christmas trees, the icon of Santa Claus, the extensive lights on decorations, express the times of joy and entertainment. In the shadow of this mammoth event, the authentic meaning and its origin has been overshadowed.
Christmas marks the anniversary of Jesus’ birth. So it is indeed an occasion of celebration for his followers, celebrating a Friend, a Teacher, a High Priest, a Prophet, and the King, the Son of God’s birthday. What presents can we give to the Birthday Boy?
Probably, Jesus likes best that we give him a lot. . . a lot of prayers for his mission to succeed. His mission is to tell as many as possible that his Father is a loving God. The Father wants as many people as possible to go to His home, not in USA, not in Mars or Jupiter but an unknown place to all except Jesus himself and the Father, of course after 2014 years, probably many more people who have been there and stay there know.
The second part of his mission is convince the ignorant, the doubter, the misled, the rebel and the unclassified that there is such a home that is way better, far better than we can imagine and that everyone can make it there. Surely there is no free ride or else it cannot be that good. Jesus wants to tell as many as possible, that the church he set up is to help them gain entrance into the Father’s Home. All are encouraged to be members in order to tap on the power of Holy Spirit to accelerate their acquiring of the knowledge and the direction to go to the Father’s Home, which we commonly call ‘Heaven’. Maybe it can be named the House of Truth and Everlasting Joys.
The other big parts and most difficult one in today’s context is to recruit and train executives and managers, workers and runners, to run his church and convert ordinary peoples to become sacramental members through the process called Baptism. The sacramental members are also named after Jesus’ title ‘The Christ’ as Christians. Incidentally Baptism is the prerequisite to be his executive or manager. Jesus set a very high standard of qualification of his own for his executives and managers. Hence, the passing rate is very low. His workers and runners also have to pass His tests in order to work in his pastures. The two most important qualities that Jesus is seeking from his colleagues are humility and obedience. When Jesus was on earth physically, he did miracles to save lives, heal the sick, cure the diseased and feed the poor and the hungry. In short, Jesus was showing us what makes him happy. He said more than once that if you help the marginalized, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, you did it to me. We can do it too as birthday gifts to Jesus.
Jesus often said that I am the way, the life and the truth. So in our Prayer gifts, ask. Ask for the wisdom to know the way to the Father’s Home, the life to meekness and humility to bear the fruit of obedience, and understand all the facts of Jesus and our faith in him. This gift will touch Jesus’ heart.
Jesus’ church is fully aware of the onslaught of falsehood from the secular views and insatiable consuming inclination. He knows his followers have short memory and needs to be reminded often. His church has designed a celebration to mark his birthday with the same message every year. A message of consolation, of hope, a message that upholds our faith, a message of God’s promise that we are not alone on the journey to God’s Home. This message is found in the story of Jesus’ birth- Emmanuel, when translated means GOD with Us. He was, he is and he will be with us.
So let show Jesus that we embrace the Christmas season with hope and joys and let us help each other to appreciate God’s presence and God’s love.