Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:27
(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering… he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities… the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed…” (Isaiah 53:4-5, the Holy Bible).
REVIEW YOUR CHRISTMAS SONGS, WHAT DO YOU FIND? Let me see if you can notice something lacking from this highly popular and long-running favorite Christmas song across the world: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go. Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again with candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store, but the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door. A pair of hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots is the wish of Barney and Ben; dolls that will talk and will go for a walk is the hope of Janice and Jen; and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go; there’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well, the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, soon the bells will start, and the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.”
SOMETHING MISSING IN CHRISTMAS FETES: Did you say that there is something missing from the song because, while it talks about jolly preparations for Christmas, with glistening candy canes and silver lanes all aglow, and toys are in every store and hollies will once again be displayed on front doors of houses, there is nothing about Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, who is the real reason behind Christmas?
If you noticed this absence of Jesus Christ in that well-loved Christmas song and, truth to tell, in many other Christmas song favorites, then, like me, you maybe getting terribly concerned as well that as the years pass by and children become adults and old people, Christmas has lost its meaning as the joyous and solemn occasion that we used to know as kids, where we brushed up on what we know about Jesus, and the story of why He came into this world in the first place.
Like me, you maybe scandalized by now that Christmas no longer evokes the spirit of hope that we felt ever so deeply when the world was a little younger, when we were regaled with stories about how Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room in the inn where Mary and Joseph tried to lodge deep into the night, where angels and the heavenly host gathered in the heavens to proclaim that Jesus was born.
JESUS CAME TO SAVE US FROM HELL: Why did this happen? I am sure this is no accident, nor a product of pure coincidence. It would appear to me as a deliberate—and, from hindsight, a hugely successful—maneuver to alter the real Christmas story, which is that God so loved the world He Himself came down from heaven, assumed the form of a man, so He can save mankind from sin.
We have been warned about this, in various ways and means, principally through the Bible. Now, it is all up to us to do something about this. This Christmas of 2014, we can all start by earnestly changing our mindset about how we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, we can still make do with the gifts, the joyous family gatherings, and the endless celebrations.
But it is time to remember that, in the midst of all these festivities, we are really celebrating our having been freed from the penalties of sin, and that because God Himself came down from heaven to accept in Himself the penalties that are due us, we have been qualified to live an eternal life in His Paradise, not in an eternal life of undying worms and unquenchable fire. Merry Christmas, everyone. And, yes, happy birthday, Jesus!
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