Merry Christmas today and tomorrow

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.

Look on the asset side

The balance sheet is one of the first concepts you learn in basic accounting. It shows a snapshot of the assets, liabilities and equity of an entity at a specific date. The balance sheet indicates health and determines what is possible. An entity with little cash, huge liabilities and low equity is not likely to go on a shopping spree. They will exercise caution, until their assets increase over liabilities, which increases equity or net assets. The net assets indicate what you can play with, what is truly yours.

Since reality is first spiritual, I see a spiritual parallel. I have an invisible balance sheet, as everyone else, which I hold in my heart. My assets are my resources and strengths. My liabilities are my needs, desires, wants, challenges or responsibilities. If on taking a snapshot of my life, I perceive that my liabilities far outweigh my assets, I could panic, be sad, get depressed or give up on life. Economics further blinds one to the truth, as it is based on this faulty premise: human wants far exceed available resources.

I have chosen to see that God is my asset. He said something truly amazing to Abraham – “I am your shield and your reward”, which He also says to everyone in Christ and invites everyone without Christ to partake in. King David said, “God is the strength of my life.” He also said something mind staggering, “God is my inheritance.” Jesus said something I cannot get over, “The kingdom of God shall be in you.” God is my asset, my strength and my inheritance. Anyone in Christ needs to see that God is on the asset side, meaning all is well and nothing is impossible. Why? Remove your needs, wants and challenges from God, you still have God, undiminished.

Mathematics expresses this truth. Infinity – x = Infinity, where x is any number.

Being in Christ is not religion. It is God becoming your strength, for any need, want or challenge. The good news is that spiritual strength translates into visible realities. Otherwise, God is a fraud or merely a fable, and He is not. I am thankful that the invisible word of God enters our world, becoming tangible and visible, just as Jesus Christ, the word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. I am grateful that likewise, my invisible reality can become visible, with my input.

As 2011 comes to a close, if you focus on your remaining liabilities, you may not be full of gratitude but if you focus on the asset side, you will soon be singing and dancing. Even if you have liabilities going into 2012, your equity is still Almighty God, and that is worth singing, dancing and celebrating about, all through 2012.

Merry Christmas.