Merry Christmas: The Word Made Flesh

 

Christmas is upon us and it means that the nativity scene is still fresh in our minds. As we go around visiting our loved ones and wishing each other a Happy Merry Christmas, we must not forget about the center of the nativity scene which is Jesus. Today is not only the birthday of Jesus but an invitation that our Saviour has come to live and dwell among us. That is the love and sacrifice that Jesus made so that He can renew us and bring light into the darkened world.

I am glad to see the Church packed on Christmas as perhaps distant and lost families are making their way back as a journey to witness the birth of Jesus. This was the joy that Joseph and Mary felt when they had overcome their doubts and fears in bringing Jesus into the world. The joy that was alive in their hearts that they had surrendered and placed their complete trust in God’s plan for them, even though to others, it will be too much to comprehend but still they followed.

The gospel reading begins by, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light,which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5,9-14).

How many of us has read the readings during mass and felt a phrase or passage that is relatable? That is the word of God speaking to us and being made flesh. The phrase will dwell in our hearts as we continue to reflect about it through the week. Jesus is so close to our hearts that we sometimes overlook His presence. He brings us the gift of eternal joy by being born as a infant just like how we entered into this world.

When I was younger, I used to wish that everyday was Christmas because everyone was extra happy and grateful in smiling more and I can feel the warmth of the hearts of people. The feeling of joy is Jesus should be a daily experience and encounter in our lives. This could be in the form of situations, prayer or just contemplation. But at the end of our earthly journey, we will be united in Jesus in experiencing the fullness of the eternal joy where there will be no more pain,suffering and death.

I am grateful that I have the nativity scene being set up at the altar and I came across this short video about the origin of the nativity scene. It was St Francis of Assisi who re-created the scene in a cave. The goal of St Francis was to bring people closer together in reflecting into the meaning of Christmas and to look deeper into the meaning of Christ’s love for us. It is more than just gifts but how we connect people to Jesus which is far more important. Here is how we can remember easily below the true spirit of this joyous occasion.

C: (Christ Jesus): God’s gift to His only Son to mankind.

H: (Heaven): The home of Jesus and our ultimate destination when life is over.

R: (Redeemer): Jesus is for us to save us from sin and death, so that we may have eternal life.

I: (Isaiah): An ancient prophet who foretold of God coming to earth as the infant baby Jesus. We also call this the incarnation of God.

S: (Star): God sent a bright star to guide the wise men seeking out baby Jesus to the manger where He lay.

T: (Three Gifts): Gold, Frankincense and myrrh,presented to the infant Jesus, the king of kings, by the wise men.

M: (Mary): Woman specially chosen by God to be the mother of His Son,Jesus.

A: (Angels): They announced Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

S: (Shepherds): The first to hear the good news of our Saviour’s birth.

I will be away this week as I embark on a short family holiday to Malaysia to unwind and find the renewed energy to come back with more zest and determination for the new year of 2017!

May we also pray for those who are suffering during this festive season from illness or wars that they will find comfort in knowing that Jesus has entered into their lives and He will guide them through the Spirit. God is with us!

I would like to leave you, dear readers, with this hymn “O Come, All Ye Faithful” which is beautifully done and the sound of the organ playing is just splendid to hear! Merry Christmas! as we bring Jesus to the people and households that we visit.

“O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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