Yes, this is going to be my Christmas message! 🙂
The One who was born amidst the splattering of Urine and Cow dung; and the One Who Remained Laughing!
Why did Jesus take Birth? What did He do? …In short, He did 3 things:
- He Taught,
- He Healed, and
- He Gave up His Life on the Cross and Rose Again.
…Teaching was Most Important to Him. ‘When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd. …So he began to teach them many things.’ Mark 6:34.
Christmas is to remind Us of His taking Birth in our midst some 2,000 years ago. A Most Welcome thing. But, does the ‘Celebration’ of Christmas, be it the New Clothes, the Cake, the Drinking for some, or Even attending the Services, bring us ( lasting ) Happiness?
And, before I proceed, I Wish Each and Every one of You, my Dear Friends, All the Blessings of Jesus!
Now, is Christmas supposed to be a Happy time? Of course. Are We supposed to celebrate? Why not. …But my point is: Just Celebrating will Not do.
There is a LOT of Sadness, in this sad world of ours, Even Now, at Christmastide. Want to hear a few examples, Absolutely Real ones? Here goes:
- People doing hard Manual labour at the age of 77 in order to eat.
- Mothers who have been told to live and sleep in the tiny verandas that we have in India, which also leaks during the monsoons.
- A Girl who lost her brother to a suicide, and whose father started drinking because of this, and died of that. Now she lives with her mother, who does menial jobs. The Girl Smiles, with her lips.
- An old lady of about 70 whose son died, leaving umpteen grandchildren in her care. I have seen her tottering in her tiredness. And One job she is assured of: That of cleaning toilets in the local presbytery and convent.
I am Offended – And So Should YOU be! – More because of the situations I have enumerated above, and similar ones, than any Offensive words, the like the ‘F’ word I used in the post on church (leaders).
Actually God and the Bible use just as Terrible words as mine. You might look up: Ezekiel 23: 19-21. But verse 20 takes the cake.
Then Paul says that it might have been Better if the Knife had slipped. Are we understanding that he is referring to Castration? Galatians 5:12.
These are just 2 examples.
Have been asked to give a message on Christmas eve in a small parish, which also has a Retreat Centre. I was informed that the congregation would be about 4 times the normal at that time.
Here is what I have been told to speak, – by the Lord, – as I believe and see it. And I Do believe these points might be Useful for All of Us.
I have condensed my 75 minutes of talk into about 50 short lines.
The Problems in our lives might occur due to one of the 5 reasons below:
- Natural Calamities. Short Answer: God, Being in Us, takes care of Us, though this might be in ways we do not expect.
- Caused by Humans. For this too, the Same answer as above.
- Problems caused by the evil spirit: Here we have to distinguish between what the catholic church Rightly calls Oppression and Possession. Allow me to write a separate post on this later. But remember, God is the Winner; and if We stay with God, so are we, Winners!
- Tested by the Lord, for Our Improvement. God plays ‘Coach‘ here.
- Corrective Punishments from the Lord:
Before I Expand on this, there are Very many people, even Preachers, who hold that God is Too Kind to Punish. Then, what about:
- Adam and Eve,
- the Deluge at the time of Noah,
- the Scattering at the time of Babel,
- Sodom and Gomorrah
- the Jews becoming Slaves to the Assyrians-Babylonians, and Most of all,
- the Whole of the 25th Chapter of Matthew? Case closed.
The Lord has Specifically said:
“I was the one who brought famine to all your cities, yet you did not come back to me.” Amos 4:6. And,
“I struck you–all the work of your hands–with blight, mildew, and hail, but you did not turn to Me,” declares the LORD. Haggai 2:17.
Thus we see that before taking final or drastic steps, the Lord Does send us Corrective Punishments.
When we keep on Ignoring these, they can become Extremely Severe too. As in:
“You punish our sins by your rebukes, and like a moth You Destroy what we love.”
[ All Good News Translations. ]
God knows that I might laugh if He strikes me, so He takes from me what I love Most. As with the Pharaoh, at the time of Moses. 😦
WHY go to all these Drastic steps?
All He asks is Love.
- Let’s be Concerned. No Abandoned Elderly. No People on the Street so that I can make a few more millions.
- No Bribes. ( This particularly for Indians ).
And let’s Remember: The More Well off we are, the More Talented, Established in life, part of the 1 or the 10%, …The More Answerable We Shall be. Luke 12:48.
I Wish You All the Blessings of the Lord Jesus at this season.