Summary: A message of Christmas to the non Christians
Respected Chairman, honourable guests, my dear friends. It is my honour and privilege to speak to you this evening.
Today is Christmas. The whole world becomes part of the Christmas celebrations one-way or other. It is the time of joy, celebration and singing. We all love the season of Christmas. However, what is the real meaning of Christmas? Let me point to you some important factors of this wonderful event called Christmas.
First of all let me explain to you what is not Christmas. Explaining what is not Christmas is the best way to explain what Christmas is. Christmas is not about singing, dancing and marrying. Many a people are deceived by thinking that Christmas is all about singing carols, dancing and eating the Christmas buffet. Believ it or not Christmas is the time where by the maximum amount of liquor is sold through out the world. Christmas eve is the time when the most number of motor accidents occur around the world. It is also the time of fight, quarrel and even murder. All in the name and time of Christmas that is supposed to bring peace and joy to the whole world as we read in Gospel according to St. Luke Ch.2:10. This is the most unfortunate thing about Christmas. Most of these people who celebrate Christmas in this manner are surely unaware of the real meaning of Christmas. Quite often, we may also fall in to the category of those celebrating Christmas without understanding its meaning.
No let me come to what Christmas is.
As I told you earlier, Christmas is not about carols, nor about Christmas trees, nor Christmas greetings, and nor about Christmas food. Christmas is all about Christ. It marks the advent or coming of Christ. You know BC 7th century was a significant century as far as the world religions are concerned. It was the century in which many of the great religious leaders lived upon the face of the earth. it was the century in which Zoroaster the founder of Zoroastrianism, mahavira the founder of Jainism and Buddha the founder of Buddhism lived. Zoroaster lived in Persia where as both Buddha and mahavira lived in India. One day somebody approached Zoroaster and asked “Are you the God?”. He replied, “I am not God but just a messenger of the one true God”. The same question was repeated to Mahavira ; and he replied “ I am not God”. When this question was asked to Budha he said, “ I donot know whether there is a God or not”. But tin the same century there lived a prophet in Isarel; and he said like this “the virgin shall bear a son and he shall be called Immanuel”. We read this in the Bible precisely in the book of Isaiah 7:14. Immanuel means ‘God with Us’ .Every one else either said they were not gods or they did not know God. But Isaiah said in the BC 7th century that ‘God is going to be with us’. My dear friends this is the meaning of Christmas. By Christmas, we do mean God coming down to earth to dwell with the human beings. If we miss this point, we miss the very core of Christmas.
Now let me tell you the reason for his coming. Yes, we all believe that God came to the earth in the form of human being and that is Jesus; but what was the reason for His advent?
I remember an incident happened in the life of world renowned Ruth Billy Graham. She wrote a book about Christmas for the children. In the cover page of the book some one drew a picture of infant Jesus with a cross as its background. The publishers were annoyed saying that the children will be terrified by seeing the cross along with the infant Jesus. But later she says, the children were not terrified rather they understood clearly that Jesus came to die. We all will die one day. But it was Jesus who came to the earth with a sole purpose of dying. The very purpose of his birth was his death. The New Testament says, no one could find any fault with Him. Even Pontius Pilate the judge who executed him said that he was innocent. But he died. It was for us he died. He became peacelessness to give us peace. He died so that we may gain eternal life. He became broken to unite the humanity which was divided on the basis race, colour , class and religion.
Let me conclude here saying real story happened in America years back. Once a husband and wife invited their friends and relatives to a birthday party of their one-year-old child. Lot of people was thrown in and there were music, dance, joy and great feast. Finally, it was the time for the baby to cut the cake. Then somebody asked “where is the baby?”. Even the parents did not know where he was because they were busy with the guests. Finally, they found the baby in his walker, which was covered by a pile of jackets and coats. But the baby was dead. This is what happened. Somebody accidentally threw his overcoat on the baby when the baby was on his walker. The next person came and he put his coat on the first coat without realizing that the baby was there. This went on and on and the baby was suffocated to death. My dear friends remember it was the birthday party of that little baby and they all celebrated the party having killed the baby. This is true with Christmas. If we celebrate Christmas without knowing its meaning, we become one with those guests who killed the baby and celebrated his birthday. Let us therefore remember the true meaning of Christmas. Christ must be born in our hearts not in the decorated manger. The Christmas lamps must be lit not upon the Christmas trees but upon our lives. Let us all invite this Jesus to be born in our hearts and may I wish you a very wonderful Christmas, Thank You.