We are almost nearing the third week of Advent and the prime message of this season is “Rejoice.”
One would think given the world spectacle today, how difficult it would be to rejoice.
And yet, all the readings during this Advent has pointed to only one word, “Rejoice.”
Maybe in rejoicing, God will lift the pain of this world and replace it with a new joy and hope.
The Prophet Isaiah began this rejoicing centuries before the Promised Messiah could be born. His Prophecies pointed to the Birth of Jesus which came true at Christmas.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
"For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“The Lord himself will give you a sign. The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel.”(Isaiah 7:14)
John the Baptist was present during this time and all he could do was also rejoice. At the same time, he levelled the path for the Lord urging others to prepare their hearts to welcome Jesus. And today we are called to do the same. Because God knows the pain of this year that the world has witnessed and he is coming as Our Healer, Comforter, Deliverer and Saviour.
Maybe this Christmas could be seen and experienced in the proper and genuine way that God always wanted us to.
To place more emphasis on reaching out to others, loving them with the love of Jesus and understanding the meaning of this season.
This would be in stark contrast to the years gone by when one placed more importance on the holiday season, enjoyment, gifts and decorations. As this year we have understood the value of life and our dependence on the Creator who has given us this life. He is the Ultimate who is waiting for us beyond this world and who will decide our fate.
If only we would understand that the highest decoration at Christmas is the Manger that we should adorn not just with the Figures of the Holy Family, Hay, Star, Shepherds and Animals but also with a true love for God who came down on earth at the appointed time and to rejoice in the highest rejoicing of the soul.
We know that when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room for them in the Inn. Is the inn of our heart open to welcome Baby Jesus as we not only recall his historic birth but also await his second coming?
Can our hearts be the hay for Jesus to lay his tender head upon?
Can we become as humble as the humblest animals present in the manger?
Can our home be the Manger for the Holy Family to dwell in this season? Not just by putting up the Crib, but also welcoming them to truly reside and bless our homes.
The simplicity of Christmas lies in the Beauty of that Bethlehem night. A night that will be forever alive for generations yet to come.
We should feel and absorb the tranquillity of the Nativity scene in all its divinity and holiness. It should be the Light from our hearts that should be used to lit up the Manger and not an external source of light. The light from within us should radiate to those around us. We should exult like the Angels did and be joyous as the Shepherds were. We should offer the gift of our Love to Him on his birthday and kiss this gift with all our soul.
As we complete the Advent season, let us join in the anticipation of Isaiah and Baptism by John in purifying ourselves and building our joy to celebrate the Birth of Christ and also look forward to the time when he will come again.
Then only, can we see, know and feel Christmas through the heart of Jesus and know that Emmanuel which means God is with us is a reality within us forever.
Written by Maria Franco
Originally published on https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=206906
Reprinted with permission by the author