Thursday, December 20, 2007
We associate Christmas with endless shoppings, with sumptuous foods on Christmas eve and Christmas day, of never ending gift giving, of going to carnivals and fairs, and other forms of merry making characterized by wanton display of one's affluence and goaded on by crass commercialism.
That's why every year, when Christmas season approaches, 3/4 or more of the world's population feel dejected and lonely. Why? Because they lack the resources to buy all the nice things that will make them and their loved ones (especially their children) happy on Christmas day.
Why? Because they have accepted in their minds that Christmas is all about the ostentatious display of one's wealth come Christmas day. The world has accepted the gross commercialism and materialism that the western countries have ingrained in the minds of all the people in the world.
Everywhere in the world, people associate Christmas with Santa Claus and his gifts, with white Christmas characterized with snow and all the fun games of winter, with Christmas trees, with colorful Christmas lights, with fireworks, with fine new clothes, Christmas caroling, and with plenty and sumptuous foods.
But what is the real meaning and essence of Christmas? It seems that people have lost track of the true reason why we celebrate Christmas.
Luke 2:8-14 says, "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: you will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."
The birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger have presaged the opening of heaven's gate for all people to be saved by His eventual death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Thus, we should be celebrating Christmas in memory of the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ whom the Father sent to redeem fallen mankind.
We should celebrate Christmas in our hearts as we feel God's presence in our lives. The real merry making and the indescribable joy of the true Christmas will be fully experienced by us when we come face to face with our Savior in His kingdom, to live in blissful existence with Him forevermore.
Let us rediscover the original joy of Christmas by letting Jesus Christ enter our hearts.
O Come O Ye Faithful
Posted by Mel Avila Alarilla
Monday, December 17, 2007
Do sour trees bear sweet fruits? Or sweet trees bear sour fruits? No, sweet trees bear sweet fruits, and sour trees bear sour fruits. So it is true that by the fruits you will know the tree.
This is also true with humans. We know who the person really is by his fruits- how he interacts with other people. A person can say all he wants to say, but people will only see the very examples that he does, especially in interacting with other people.
So you want to know how a particular person interacts with others? Ask his immediate family. Ask his house helps and subordinates if he is the superior of other employees. Ask his neighbors and friends. Ask his church mates.
The very persons who really know him is his spouse and his parents. Ask them who he really is. You may be surprised by their candid answers.
We may not leave any monuments or lasting memories behind when we are gone from this world, but God will never forget the little things that we have done each day to give a little ray of sunshine to a gloomy neighborhood; that sweet smile that transformed the dreary day of the people we chance to encounter everyday; the kind words of love and comfort that we generously gave to those in need of them; the extra mile we went through with a friend just to help him get by with his problem; the glass of cold water we handed down to a thirsty stranger or the piece of bread to a hungry beggar; the selfless acts we do when we give way to others even if it is already our turn at the gate.
These, and every little selfless acts of kindness we do everyday to all people, will reflect the glory of God in our lives and will serve as tiny seeds of righteousness planted in different souls. In due time and with the right conditions, these tiny seeds will sprout, grow and mature into fruit bearing trees that will also produce the sweetest fruits that will reflect and magnify the glory of God in this world.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
You Are The Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder (1970s) USA
by Mel Avila Alarilla