Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
JOY OF CHRISTMASMatthew 2: 9-12
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed (Matthew 2:10)
Merry Christmas! The often-repeated words of greetings during the Christmas season signify the fact that it is the festival of joy. The shepherds who were watching over their flocks also received a message from the angel of the Lord: “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”. (Luke 2:9) Christmas is an occasion of great joy. How can we rejoice in an occasion of death and deep sorrow? How can we rejoice when people are losing jobs and facing economic recession? How can we rejoice when people are in great trouble due to war, terror, calamities and catastrophes? Is it possible to rejoice in situations of fear, anxieties, poverty and enslavements? The people who received the message of great joy during the first Christmas were also going through similar life situations. It is the message of joy to all people in all situations. Because it helps us to transcend our situations, overcome our limitations and mitigate our sorrows and agonizing experiences.
Joy of Divine Vision: The wise men from the East set out to see the newborn child, the King of Jews. They were following the star until it stopped over the place where the child was (Matthew 2:9). Seeing the star they were overjoyed. All the troubles, trials and hardships of such a long journey, they undertook, precisely because of a divine vision. Star signifies light and light helps our vision. Seeing the star is important. It is the darkness that helps us to envision the twinkling of the star. As we read in Isaiah 9:2 “ The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of shadow of death a light has dawned”. Real vision is the illumination that God ignites in our mind.Joy of Giving and Worshipping: On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (Matt 2:11) There is an allegoric interpretation that these gifts befit the dignity and the role to which the child is born. He is the king and hence the gold; he is the high priest and hence frankincense (used in worship services) and as a human to be died, myrrh (it was used for embalming dead bodies – John 19:39) Any way, these are precious gifts to honor the savior of the world, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We give special gifts to our dear ones on special occasion as an expression of our love and out pouring of our hearts.
Prayer: Lord, help us to give ourselves as a living sacrifice holy and well pleasing to you as our spiritual act of worship.
Rev. Joseph Johnny, New York