“He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession” James 1:18
There is a Christmas carol that spells out the truth that Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in our hearts. It tells us that somewhere deep inside us is where Christmas really starts. It is when we give our hearts to Jesus that we will discover that Christmas will really be Christmas for us. Otherwise, Christmas will just simply be a time for merrymaking, holidaying and partying.
Advent is the season for reflection on what it truly means to be a Christian. It is a time for Christ to be born anew in our hearts. It is also a time to reflect on how we have only kept Jesus as an infant in our hearts instead of enthroning Him as King over all of our lives.
Jesus came to bring us the gift of truth that we are the children of a loving Heavenly Father and the gift of joy of living in the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. The gospel is all about what Jesus has done for us. We are invited to respond by accepting God’s amazing grace. Christianity is not about what God will do for us when we believe in Jesus. When we focus only on God’s blessings instead of our responsibilities as His beloved children we will not be able to live fully in a world that is filled with pain, suffering and death.
Jesus came to show us how to live and how to love as a human being who is totally filled with the love and grace of God. He came to be with us when we face temptation, hunger, fatigue, weakness, suffering and death. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit through the obedience of Mary and Joseph. Jesus came to give us our spiritual DNA as the children of God so that we can be the channels of God’s agape love.
Mary’s response to God’s invitation to bear the Christ child – be it unto me according to Your Word – is an example for us all to follow. It is a stark contrast to the disobedience of Eve who believed Satan’s lie that we can be like God, knowing both good and evil. It is this lie that keeps us in darkness and alienated from God. And it is therefore no surprise that our modern world has so much knowledge but so little wisdom to make the best use of our knowledge.
Eve, the earthly woman was created from Adam, the earthly man. The virgin birth of Jesus is God’s way of redemption as Mary, the earthly woman, gives birth to Jesus, the first born spiritual man. To become a child of God, we need to be born of the Spirit. The virgin birth of Christ, His total obedience unto death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead is the simple gospel of God’s love and power in this world darkened by sin and evil.
It is our identity as a child of God that shapes our beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and values. Our vision will then be to bring God’s Kingdom to earth and our mission will be to do His will. When each of us are living as a child of God, the Holy Spirit will bind us together as the Body of Christ to serve the poor, heal the sick and deliver those in bondage to sin and evil.
May Christ be born in our hearts anew this Christmas!