Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All- Luke 1.26-33

“And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name- JESUS.” –Luke 1:31

Christmas in the Philippines

Here in the Philippines, we hold the longest and the most festive Christmas celebration in the whole world. It starts from December 16 to January 6 of the following year. People adorn their houses with lanterns of different styles and sizes, Christmas trees with all sorts of lights, glitters and balls. Even the streets come alive at night with the different lights that dance with the cool December breeze. People fill marketplaces and shopping malls to buy special food like ham, cheese, and fruits for family reunions on Christmas Eve noche buena; and gifts for their friends and loved ones using their Christmas bonuses. There are Christmas parties and kris kringle almost in every corner, in schools and workplaces to celebrate the special holiday. People fill churches to hear mass or worship services to relive the biblical story of Christmas.

It is indeed the happiest season of all!

However, people has become so preoccupied will the festivities more than the birthday celebrator. They trouble themselves so much, with what they will prepare for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and the gifts that they are going to give and receive. What will Christmas be if there are no festive meals on Christmas Eve? Will it be the same if you do not have money to buy gifts for your loved ones? What will Christmas be in evacuation centers while a volcano threatens to erupt and destroy livelihood and human settlement? Will there be Christmas after a loved one has just passed away two days before Christmas Day? Will there be Christmas after losing your home and everything you have from fire one day before Christmas Eve?

For a Christian, Christmas brings tidings of great comfort and joy. It is a fulfillment of a promise that God has made and the tangible evidence of God’s amazing love. Whatever situation you may be in right now, the message of Christmas will renew your strength and empower your faith. Christ the Savior is born and He will save you from your hardship and pain.

On the first Christmas, sometime in 4BC, God has incarnated and has dwelt among men to save us from sin and give us eternal life with Him. The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest gift humanity has ever received from the boundless grace and love of the Father, the Lamb of God that has taken away the sin of the world at the cross in Calvary.

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The Nativity Story

We can find the record or account of the birth of our Lord Jesus only in two books in the New Testament. The first is in the gospel according to Matthew 1:8-25-2:1-23, which, records events before and after Christ’s birth. Second, the gospel according to Luke 2:1-40, which, records the events prior to Mary’s conception, the actual conception and the birth of the Lord Jesus.

We can read the account of the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12. A careful study of the record indeed reveals important facts that differ from the traditional story we have always known. The visit of the magi is historically, a post Christmas event (v.1 NIV) and they have found the child Jesus in a house (v.11), not in a stable, contrary to what traditional Bethlehem scenes depict, almost two years after His birth (v.16).

You would notice in the account of St Luke particularly starting in chapter 2:21 and the following that 40 days after the birth, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the temple. Then in verse 39, Luke wrote that when the ceremony of presenting the child, and purifying the mother, was all over, they returned into Galilee. Luke related no more concerning them until Jesus was twelve years old. There seemed a twelve years gap. However, it appears in the gospel according to St. Matthew particularly in the second chapter that they returned to Bethlehem in those silent years, stayed there for nearly two years before the wise men from the east found them.

Enemies of the gospel say that either Luke was wrong in his writing or the wise men’s story was only a mere concoction of the early Christians. I adamantly disagree to that notion. I would like to share this article to help us defend our faith against those who refute the infallibility of the holy Bible.

Image:
nativity_scene.jpg
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