Summary: Christmas is beyond all but Christ is exalted, worshiped and congregation has assembled for Christ. F
During Christmas some go to their mother church, some others go to their mother-in-law church. For some Christmas means lots eatables and going to good restaurants. Some Christmas means bonus, means New Dress. Christmas is beyond all but Christ is exalted, worshiped and congregation has assembled for Christ.
The passage we just heard reading the first part vividly explains the worst scenario of the world. It’s one of the scenes of the world for ever, scenes of the world at all times.
1. Worst scenario of the world
Ceaser Augustus ruled Roman Empire from 27BC to 14 AD, the period was known as “Era of Peace”. He was known as “Savour” or “god”, “Saviour of the world”. But Luke show the real Saviour, God and Saviour of the World.
God used Augustus to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to city of David, so Jesus would be known as the Son of David. He has to come from Bethlehem (Mic.5:1). Census was taken in 28 BC, 8 BC and 14 BC.
The night on Dec 24th in BC 1, was very dark, gloomy. People were living in great hopelessness under the tyrant rule of the Romans. The descendants of Abraham were so discouraged and lived a life of Slavery.
How many times this people have to become a nation less people, leaders less people, what a pathetic situation to this special Chosen people, redeemed people, and called out community. Probably this is the only nation which was always under watch and punishment. All other nations were either let out or wiped out of the face.
The narration of Luke about Birth of Jesus has the glimpse of the dreadful governments, Policies of the nations, rulers and people in power. People in power always forget about the problems faced by common citizens.
We had gone through these problems during demonetization, producing life certificates for pensions. Governments’ policy implementer never worried about the difficulties; problems faced by people. They talk about time limit without heart. Only they say this is the order and have to obey.
If the democratically elected governments, leaders behave violently, inhuman ways then think of the kings who had occupied the ruling seats by birth as royal right, how dreadful they were. They had lost their hearts. No place for compassion, mercy, grace etc.,
Not only Mary and Joseph, there were many elderly people, many pregnant women, many children would have suffered without boarding and lodging. People could have stood in a long queue for registration; like how we are running shelter after shelter, pillar to post to get our ID cards and any other documents.
Often, we live these realities. Some curse the rulers, some curse the God, some curse the governments, some say its fate, some accept as it is, live as it is and die.
The hopeless community was looking for some messiah, some good News. So, God sent the best Good News from Heaven.
2. Best Good news of the Heaven
At this juncture, one of the arch-angel great Gabriel brought the Good news of the birth of Messiah, the Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, to the Shepherds of Jerusalem with three-fold blessings or triune blessings:
“Glory to God in the Highest,
And on earth peace
To men on whom His favour rests” (Lk.2:14).
What a soothing statement to the dreadful and terrified communities. People were living without love, without favour for one another, without graceful heart, without peaceful mind, without hope. Are you in this night live like one of them? God sends his Good news to you.
FIRST BLESSING is Glory to God in the Highest. What is “glory” Glory means heavenly bliss, absolute happiness, adoring praise, sources of honour, fame and admiration, great beauty and splendour. There is a Glory of God (Is.42;8, 48:11, Ac 7:2, Lk.2:9,19:38). Glories of the dreadful, tyrant rulers will vanish. God’s glory is seen.
SECOND BLESSING is on earth Peace. The peace on earth was lost in Garden of Eden after a dirty conversation between Satan and Eve (Gen.3:1-2).
The conversation was against the faith, against word of God and against God. Bad company corrupts good Character, an unwanted talk brings indiscipline (1Cor.15:33). It leads to backbiting, slandering, accusing and non-acceptance of brethren, not acceptance of fellow being and hatred.
The absence of the Prince of peace means the presence of pandemonium (chaos), upheaval. Relationship with God is peace (Rom.5:1). Submission to God gives Peace, and Peace brings prosperity (Job22:21).
Peace gives completeness, welfare and shalom. When Jesus is in you, you become an agent of Peace, a Peace maker, a symbol of Peace. People will look for your entry, your friendship, your fellowship and your involvement bring peace on the Earth.
THIRD BLESSING is to men on whom His favour resting upon men. Favour also means Grace. In our day-to-day life context, it means kindness, friendly regards shown by the superior to the junior. The sin brought ego, selfish attitude and hatred, hostility among men. The birth of Jesus brought favour upon men. The favour of men is relative to beauty (Gen 29:17-18, 30-31), to status, to power, to pleasing to eyes, to possession, to position, to class, to language, to caste, to colour. Most of the times these kinds of favours are artificial and not a natural outcome. But Christ’s love takes us beyond all these.