Christmas: Remembering the God Who IS With Us

Article for: Place of Refuge

Published Date: December 16th, 2001 22:42:50

His name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23

Advent is a season for preparing for the coming of the Lord. During this season, the main message of the Church is repentance. Indeed, repentance is a word that has become out of fashion.

We see a lot of people organizing fund raising activities for the poor. Many people tend to be more generous during these times. I often get lost in this mood of generosity thinking that this is what Christmas is all about - giving to the less fortunate.

But then, if we stop to think of what Christmas really is, it is a celebration of God's generosity and love. Christmas is not us giving gifts to others. It is not being with family. It is not a good feeling of love. Christmas is remembering God's love for us. It is remembering the God who was with us, the God who IS with us and the God who will always be with us - the Ever Faithful God who saves us - Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is remembering that
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

It is remembering the humility of Jesus
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:6-7

It is remembering our victory in the crucified Jesus when he cried,
It is finished
John 19:30

Very often, we get too focused on preparing gifts that we lose focus on the Main Giver of everything that is good. As such, we get too busy celebrating the day forgetting the main reason for his coming - to call sinners to repentance.

The Church begins its year on the first Sunday of Advent. It is a time to reflect on the past year - on the goodness and blessings we have received from the Lord and to look at how much we have failed.

It is a time to make a decision to turn away from our sins and to follow Jesus. It is a time to remember the total surrender of Jesus to the Father - in so doing, to also surrender our lives to the Father through Jesus. It is a time also to remember our Blessed Mother and her spouse Joseph - whose YES and obedience made God's redemption possible - in so doing, to also say YES to God in all his plans for us.

May the Lord's light shine on all of us this season and may we all treasure the victory given to us by the God who is with us.

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