The story of Christmas has been retold by me several times in the past. It is the story of a little ‘babe’ born to poor parents, Joseph and Mary in a little town in Bethlehem 2014 years ago. Christmas to Christians is a time for reflection and a time to share one’s joys and sorrows. It is the time to reach out and touch the life of another person with love and warmth. It is the time to share love and friendship, care and concern.
Christmas, which means ‘Feast day of Christ’, is a Christian holiday that honours the birth of Jesus Christ whom Christians believe is the Son of God and a cultural holiday for non-Christians. The season of preparing for Christmas is called ‘Advent’ and begins on a Sunday four weeks before Christmas. The Christmas season ends on January 6.
As Christians celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the story of how this happened is told in parts of the Holy Bible known as the gospels. There are four gospels telling the life of Jesus Christ. The gospel of St. Luke tells us the most about his birth, and the gospel of St. Matthew tells another part of the story. The gospel of St. John tells us that Jesus Christ came from God to bring His Word or message to all people.
The four gospels tell us that many years before Jesus’ birth, prophets had told a promise to the Jewish people that God would send them a Messiah (Isaiah, Chapter 53, verses 1 to 12). Christians believe that the promised Messiah was Jesus. His mother was a young Jewish woman named Mary, who was engaged, but not yet married to a carpenter named Joseph. Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant and was upset. He was wondering what he should do, when an angel of the Lord came to tell him that the baby that was to be born in Mary’s womb will be from God.
The giving of gifts at Christmastide comes from several different ideas. One is that God gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, to the world at Christmas (John, Chapter 3, verse 16). There is also another story of the three wise men (or Magi) who came to the infant Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. For many centuries, it has been the custom for people to give gifts at Christmas. Another custom is the tradition of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas as he is sometimes called, and who is nowadays thought by many children to be the bringer of gifts and happiness. So this Christmas let us live a life of love and keep sharing whatever little we have with others.