I wonder what’s wrong. Whenever the Holiday season sets in, I feel jubilant and so caught up with the holiday rush. I’m racing in front of bazaars, never minding the long queue at the cashier or being jostled by the crowd in malls and popular tiangge or other local shopping destinations. Now, it’s two weeks before Christmas and I don’t feel a single tingle of excitement in my nerves.
Probably it’s because now I’ve realized, after watching the tragic death of a multitude of my fellowmen in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught in the Visayan region, I am celebrating Christ’s birth the wrong way. Maybe a lot of us has felt the same way. One co-worker told me she doesn’t feel like its Christmas at all, saying celebrating the season even simply makes her feel…guilty.
But should we really? Feel guilty, I mean? Should we stop celebrating Christmas then? The Day God transformed into human flesh and made his dwelling with us mortals, I believe, is something we should rejoice about. For some, this can be a trivial thing, but I’m hoping most would see that the ultimate Christmas gift we could ever had was the birth of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross to give us a life and a future.
Personally, I think we should NOT stop celebrating. Cut down on that lavish spending, I agree. But to altogether stop celebrating Christmas is to accept that we can never get up, defeating God’s purpose for us. We should celebrate Christmas the way it was designed by God to be: the time to give, the time to forgive and the time for quiet reflection and unity. It’s the perfect time to prove that all things in this world are ephemeral. For when the spirit of materialism gets the better of us, we forget to be thankful. The only thing that is constant is Him.
Let me share with you something I read about being thankful. In his book Learn, Laugh, Live, Francis J. Kong said he repeatedly keep on receiving this article from the Internet, and so shared it in his book. If YOU are one of those who got a copy of this article, then maybe you wouldn’t mind me sharing this again here on my blog. It’s about being Thankful… a word which has somehow been diluted, if not forgotten, by most people. I am very much inspired when I read this article. It made me realize that I have every reason to celebrate Christmas this year with more depth and understanding. I have every reason to be thankful!
Here’s how it goes:
- If you own a Bible, you are abundantly blessed. About one-third of the world does not have access to one;
- If you wake up each morning with more health than illness, you are blessed to rise and shine, to live and to serve in a new day;
- If you have anyone on this planet, just one person who loves you and listens to you, count this a blessing;
- If you can freely attend a church meeting without fear, then you are more blessed than over one-third of the world;
- If you pray today or any day, you are blessed because you believe in God’s willingness to hear your prayer;
- If you pray for someone else, you are blessed because you want to help others;
- If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep–these all rolled into one–then you are truly rich in this world;
- If you have someone who will pray with you and for you, you benefit from a spiritual unity, bond and agreement, which the gates of hell cannot stand against;
- If you have an earthly family that even halfway love you and support you, you are blessed beyond measure;
- If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, or some spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the world’s wealthy;
- If you can go to bed each night, knowing that God loves you, you are blessed beyond measure;
- If you can read this message, you are more blessed than about one-third of the world who cannot read at all;
- If you never had to endure the hardship and agony of battle, imprisonment or torture, you are blessed in indescribable measure;
- If you can hold someone’s hand, hug another person, touch someone on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch;
- If you can share a word of encouragement with someone else, and do it with His love in your heart, you are blessed because you have learned how to give;
- If you have the conviction to stand fast upon His Word and His promises, no matter what, you are blessed because you are learning patience, endurance and tenacity;
- If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed, this most people can as well, but many could not.
“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich…”–Dietrich Bonhoeffe
“In all things, give thanks and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7
Merry Christmas, everyone! 🙂