Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Dear Friends,

As the lyrics of the Christmas tune goes, "It is the most wonderful time of the year". How true, it has indeed been wonderful for me. I have always been taught that the real meaning of Christmas is the sharing of love and the giving of hope. This festival is shared meaningfully by Christians who believes that the true gift to mankind was the birth of Jesus Christ some two thousand years ago. This birth represents the giving of hope, "For GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but will have everlasting life", as famously quoted in the gospel of John.
I read an article in the newspaper today with much conviction. It was about a Malaysian man called Clifford Leong who has been given a new lease of life. Clifford is celebrating Christmas for the very first time this year. This Christmas signifies a new beginning for him as he was a survivor of a tragic car accident which left him in a coma for two weeks in 2007. The accident damaged his speech and optical nerves as well as the motor skills on the right part of his body. He further adds, quote, "A friend took pictures of my wrecked car and while looking at them I realised why Jesus is called a saviour. The front part of my car was a total wreck and I survived such a terrible crash", unquote
To cut a long story short, Clifford prayed to the Lord Jesus and a miracle took place when he found that he recovered after about seven weeks. The doctors thought he could only start walking in six months with a full recovery only in three years. Miracles do happen if you have the faith to believe.

These are real life situations experienced by real people who will continue sharing their testimonies of love and hope until their dying day. I was in church this morning for the Christmas service. The message today was that the joy and the hope of Christmas is in the forgiveness, the fellowship and the generosity. The preacher did not at anytime assured me that the thought of Christmas conjured around the images of tall and decorated Christmas trees or the fat bloke from the North Pole ,wearing a red suit in his sleigh, with a red nose reindeer.

There is a special blessing in the Christmas message which is frequently missed by many. The birth of Christ is not simply an interesting fact of history. It is however, a gift given by God for all mankind. Have you ever thought that this birth was for you, as the Christmas carol goes, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let us receive her king".

As for me, I have known only the Christmas celebrations from birth and I do celebrate the Chinese New Year for cultural reasons. My Christmas tree is up and lit, we had our traditional turkey for dinner last night, we listened to carols being sung and we exchanged gifts with our loved ones. This special day was celebrated today with family and friends with reflections on how blessed this year has been for me.

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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