Once again December comes with the most intense and profound spiritual and joyful event retold and re-enacted. God became flesh. He lives with us and He is one among us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). Don’t you remember that angel who brought the good news for the world? “Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
When Christmas season approaches, many of us promise ourselves every year that we will do things differently, but we struggle to keep it. Two thousand years later, still Jesus may have a difficult time to find a room in the hearts of his people who have forgotten why they celebrate Christmas. Many have shifted attention from Christ to Christmas cards, Christmas carols, Christmas cakes, Christmas gifts, Christmas parties, Christmas celebrations and Christmas shopping. Christmas has gone through a lot of changes over the years. In fact, it is observed, at present Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon.
But the true spirit of Christmas encourages us to shift our attention to the real and amazing cause for Christmas who is Christ himself. Without Christ there is no Christmas. The message and values Jesus brought to this world must be the focus of the Christmas. Pro-Jesus and pro-poor Christmas is the meaningful and fruitful Christmas. Give spiritual preparations, prayers and worship a prominent place. Keep Christmas plans, decorations and celebrations simple. Focus on the need of the struggling poor around us. Find a way to share what we have. If we want to experience Christmas spiritually significant for us we need to discover the spiritual aspects of Christmas we are most passionate about and make an attempt to fulfil it by actively engaging in it.
There is a poem composed by Howard Thurman which teaches us the real spirit of Christmas. “When the song of the angels is stilled,/ when the star in the sky is gone,/ when the kings and princes are home,/ when the shepherds are back with their flocks,/ the work of Christmas begins:/ to find the lost,/ to heal the broken,/ to feed the hungry,/ to release the prisoner,/ to rebuild the nations,/ to bring peace among the people,/ to make music in the heart.”