“For to us a child is born,to us a son is given.” (Isaiah 9:6)
The Most Vulnerable Birth
Amongst other things, Christmas is not only about a certain child who was born a long time ago but also about children from all places and all times. Jesus was born at a particular time and at a particular locality and hence all times and all places are sacred and extraordinary. Time and space are divinely sanctified for they are graced by Jesus by being born into this world. With the coming of Jesus, there are no such things as ordinary time and ordinary space or ordinary locality.
Jesus’s birth was the birth which had no economic or social stability. It was the birth of vulnerability, uncertainty and fragility par excellence. From birth to death, he was homeless, penniless, powerless, rootless and vulnerable. True power lies, paradoxically, in our powerlessness and in our helplessness. True spiritual growth and maturity lies in our constant insecurities in their multifaceted manifestations. Tough circumstances under which we are born can make us great and profound, if we know how to transcend them creatively.
Children as Miracles
Every child is a child from God and of God. There is no birth ever that is not desired, nourished acknowledged and blessed by God. Each child is a direct blessing from God and therefore the living God is actively and actually present at every birth of a child. Children are marvelous miracles through and through and God is the author of every single miracle in this world. Every single birth furthers the ongoing mystery of the universe. The whole universe is one grand birth and each human birth sings, praises and glorifies the grandeur of the universe and the majesty of its Creator. The whole emerging and evolving universe is one great, grand and gradual song of praise. Each child is a song, a hymn, a melody and a symphony too in the Divine orchestra.
Creation is no longer the same with Jesus’s nativity. Creation is held, upheld, uplifted by Christ. Creation is God letting be and letting becoming. Creation is the meaning of all that is going on. The whole universe has been longing for, bursting forth for its Saviour. The universe is breaking forth into singing and crying aloud for its Restorer. The universe is lifting up its voice like a trumpet for its Liberator. The creation has been waiting with eager longing for the revealing of its Emancipator. The whole creation has been groaning in travail together for its Deliverer and Jesus has increased its festive joy and delight and the cosmos rejoices before its Creator as with joy at the harvest.
The Mystery of Incarnation
Every birth contains a spark of the Divine incarnation. Every child carries within oneself a spark of the divinity. There is a whisper of God in every child. Jesus speaks to us gently and intimately in and through every child and one needs the eye of faith to understand this reality. Every cry of a child is a mystical and musical whisper. God is present tangibly and liquidly even in the cry of a child. Every tear manifests the love of Christ in a microcosmic manner. By being born in to this universe, Jesus embraces, accepts and affirms every other birth; every child is, without any exception, accepted, affirmed, loved and cared for by Jesus without conditions, restrictions, limitations and reservations.
Life as a Gift from God
Life is the gift per excellence from God and hence it is absolutely precious. Since human beings possess the most vulnerable and fragile childhood amongst all the creatures, we need one another and ultimately God to depend on. God is the Author, Creator, Preserver and Sustainer of whole of life and of all life forms.
Christ lives and is active ceaselessly and tirelessly in every child. Christ continues to live in every child and every child lives in Christ too. Not to live in Christ is not live fully. Every child is also a potential Christ. Jesus too had a childhood in solidarity with all children, born and unborn, in the world. Child is the mother and father of humanity. Whoever abuses a child ceases to be a Christian for child abusers are the enemies of Christ and therefore the enemies of humanity.
Children have one true friend in Jesus and therefore every child must befriend Jesus in order to really enjoy one’s childhood. When one becomes Jesus’s best friend, one also becomes one’s best friend.
When one becomes one’s best friend, one also becomes the best friend of others. Jesus is much closer to us than we are closer to ourselves. Jesus is also a child who understands and empathises with every other child. Children are the queens and the kings of the kingdom of the God.
Every child is adorable and admirable. Every child is a carrier and container of the divine mystery. Every child too reflects the glory, power, grandeur, beauty and majesty of God. God became a child in Jesus in order to redeem us from our childish ways. God took flesh in order for us to take our fleshly and bodily reality seriously. Human body is the temple of the Holy spirit and it is also the privilege site of the Divine incarnation. The birth of Christmas was the birth of a human body in Bethlehem and how that body was broken, sacrificed, shared and given away for the life of the world and for the sake of other bodies. Whatever is not shared generously is lost forever.
It is Jesus’s body that sustains the whole humanity, even if most of us do not acknowledge it or are not really aware of it. In this light, we can never neglect or underestimate our bodily and earthly existence and integrity. God Speaks in and through our bodies. It means that we should concretely take care of our bodies , health, well being, spirituality and sexuality. Christmas is also about eating properly; that is, about eating good food, life-giving food not junk food or plastic food. To abuse one’s body is a disservice to God. To love God is also to take care of one’s health. The glory of God is human body becoming fully, joyfully and exuberantly, gigilingly alive.
Christianity is the only religion that claims that God assumed a bodily form for once and for all and therefore we should be committed to our bodily integrity. We must also take concrete actions against whoever tries to destroy this God’s world through greed, selfishness, hatred, exploitation, terrorism, sexploitation, oppression, violence and injustice. To be born on earth is to renew the earth anew. There is an intimate link between the human body and the earth. They are like two sides of the same coin. To abuse one is to destroy the other. How we treat the human body is normally the way we treat the earth. The earth is our second skin without which human life is absolutely impossible.
Celebration of Awareness
The Spirit of incarnation is the spirit of joy, unconditional love and hope. The Divine incarnation is the transfusion of new life into the bloodstream of the already pulsating arteries of humankind. During Christmas season we ought to experience this fascination from the marrows of our bones. Christmas celebration is the awareness of joy and the exuberance of hope. To celebrate is to hope and to keep the hope alive amid the medley of growing anxiety and darkness.
Music for the Christ Child: A boy is born for us
With Jesus’s birth the whole human race is also born once again. The birth of Jesus is the birth of the new humanity, no more and no less. Our birth is not only biological but also theological and spiritual. Every birth has a theological dimension. Every birth is extraordinary, precious and unique. No birth is ordinary or uninteresting. Every new birth is the birthing of a new dimension of this universe. Every newly born baby enhances the meaning of this universe. Every time a child is born the universe is also born again and anew and transformed. The birthing of a child is the rebirth of the universe.
To be born into this world is the greatest gift and greatest privilege one could receive from God. This absolutely means that nobody can take another’s life and justify it. There are no justifications whatsoever for murder no matter who commits it for whatever cause. Only God can take a human life away.
Love and Forgiveness
To be born is to be born for the others. One is never born for oneself alone. In this sense, to be born is the most selfless act. We are free to the extent we serve others. The birth of Jesus is the death of the power of sins over our lives. Jesus’s birth continues to affect every other birth and it has radically altered the way we understand even those who had been born before Christ. His salvation affects even those who had never heard of his birth. Christ is our true happiness and the very fulfillment and the end of all our aspirations and inspirations. He is our complete freedom, our complete joy and the fountain and summit of our interior freedom and liberation. True freedom stems from Christ, is sustained by Christ and returns to Christ. Freedom is our innate capacity to love and serve people we habitually do not like. Not to love Christ is the beginning of all our unhappiness and misery for there is nothing beyond Christ. Christ is everything, everything to everyone. So we must constantly give him a shelter in our hearts and our hearts must tabernacle him on a daily basis.
To be born into this world is the greatest gift and greatest privilege one could receive from God. This absolutely means that nobody can take another’s life and justify it. There are no justifications whatsoever for murder no matter who commits it for whatever cause. Only God can take a human life away. We are in danger of increasingly becoming a culture that glorifies, praises, encourages and justifies violence. we should always wish that there were more humane ways of dealing with killers, rapists, robbers and terrorists.
There are no crimes beyond forgiveness with God, if people truly and sincerely accept, repent and ask for pardon. Forgiveness is the very air we breathe. In actual fact we are all forgiven sinners for God loves us and forgives us unconditionally and therefore unrepented life is not worth living. God is the Forgiver and the Lover par excellence.
At this Christmas we should be determined to give birth to a new life. Those who do not want to change their life-styles are not really qualified to celebrate Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the true disciples of Christ. To celebrate Christmas without sharing in its true spirit is to betray it. To celebrate Christmas is to be Christ-like through and through. Christmas also means making of a Christ out of a child and appreciating children in Christ.