Today, I chatted with someone who asked me, “Why do you Christians like to give gifts on Christmas? Why?” I am surprised that she wants to know about this tradition.
I explained to her that Christmas is about giving. The meaning of giving doesn’t mean give gift but rather things that we cannot put a price to it or buy it. I didn’t want to sound like preaching so I briefly explained to her how God made this earth as a heaven until Adam and Eve caused death to enter it. So, we would have died and end of story. But God loves the world He made so much, He has given Jesus Christ to come to earth as a human baby, born of a woman name Mary.
Then, in order for us to be reconcile with God again, i.e. have everlasting life, i.e. to live again after we died on this earth, Jesus had to go through the same sufferings we would endure in this life. Pain, hardship, humiliation, rejection, loneliness and all the sad stuffs. Jesus had to die as a man would, bleeding and all that. Jesus had to die that way so that He could mend the bridge for us to return to God.
So, God gave His Son, Jesus Christ and we are reminded to give or to sacrifice on Christmas too.
Maybe to many, the above is an old boring tale we Christians bluffed ourselves with. Well, I don’t care what you think of it because that is the epitome of our Christians belief. For we believe in a God that we can feel in our hearts. That belief moves us forward to strive for the Christ like actions that Jesus displayed. Maybe we stumble many times, we stray off the paths and such. But Christmas is a good time to remind ourselves again.
One of my strongest weakness, if there is such a description, as a Christian is my reluctance to share my faith. I hate people preaching to me so I always make sure I don’t repeat that to another. But today, she asked. And I told her what Christianity is all about in that short, little story.
And I pray that promise of an eternal life, of an everlasting life, of a dead loved ones still around in the comfort of God’s heaven gives her some comfort. For you see, her husband died last Christmas day.
This morning, I went to her house because she made me ghee balls which she knows I loved. She got it made specially for Christmas for me. She gave me a hamper, a gift and a card. I have never received such generous gifts from anyone on Christmas before.
It touched me a lot. A whole lot because I know I had done something good to deserve this shower of gifts. It is not the amount or the value but the thoughts. You see, I spent many hours with Vela before he died. I assured him his wife would be ok even if he is not around. He told me about his hopes for his kids, he shared about his worries and such. After he died, I had managed to convey some of the things he told me to the wife.
Today, she is still coping well and I am glad what I told Vella is true. I told him not to worry so much because we women are very strong and capable people if we are put in any circumstances. He was worried that she dare not even drive initially. We women are survivors and we will somehow manage.
So, I have the Christmas in my heart.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
(Emmanuel means ‘God is with us’ and also is a name for Jesus too)