The shepherds watching their flock on the night Christ was born were terrified when an angel suddenly stood in their midst to deliver the news. The angel’s words, “Don’t be afraid…” was not just an invitation to not be afraid of that sudden appearance but to step completely out of fear. It was not just for the shepherds but for all humans. Those shepherds reflected the fear in human hearts, past, present and future. They had probably internalized things going on around them at the time, just like today. The world we are living in and leaving for the next generation seems rather dark. I know I need that message given by the angels that night, “Fear not.”
But why? “A great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide” has just occurred, said the angel. Every human who has a reason to fear can share in this new reality. It is an event that truly brings cheer and merriment to the world for all people. It is not only meant for Christians. No one has exclusive rights to peace and joy after all. It is for everyone who belongs to the human family. And thank God, the Christ of Christmas loves Hillary Clinton and all her supporters and loves Donald Trump and all his supporters. And Christ’s followers need to follow by loving across party lines.
Christ’s entry into the world is historical and timeless. Now, we can look into the future and know that regardless of what comes, a Saviour, The man referred to by the angel as Messiah and Master has entered our world and we all now have access to him. If this Christ is true, hope has entered our world regardless of how hopeless things seem.
Christmas is not just an event to celebrate yearly but a reality to live in and live from daily. And this is a perfect time to live the reality of Christmas. This time of terror within which is causing terror without and resulting in more terror.
May Christmas not be for a day or a season. We are doomed if it is. May tomorrow also be a day when Christ’s entry into the world makes a difference in our lives and is celebrated.
We do not participate in it by buying gifts but by receiving Christ within. It is a heart thing and not a commercial or church thing, thank God. But a heart thing that gets externalized. It is joy and peace within that is expressed and shared daily neutralizing fear and its effects, resulting in more peace within and without.
Tomorrow, we can live in the reality of Christmas. Tomorrow, Christmas is needed because tomorrow, we start to be reminded of the lack of joy and peace within and about us. And like I once wrote, “hope is not needed when there is hope, hope is needed when there is no hope.” Peace is not needed when there is peace, peace is needed when there is no peace.
I love Christmas. I love the season, the celebration, the carols and the sharing of gifts and goodwill. May we go beyond that and embody Christ when and where peace and joy are needed.
Merry Christmas to you today and tomorrow.