Theme: Rejoice, our King is here
Tonight is a very significant night in Christian liturgy. It marks the beginning of the Christmas season, a season of joy when God comes to us like us just to save us.The joy of this night is splendid. This is the night of divine revelation, that moment when God the Father decided to show us His Face in the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the night of divine exchange, when God the Son took our human nature that we might share in his divine nature. Tonight, we are being made sons and daughters of God and co-heirs of Jesus Christ. These are the fruits of Christ’s Incarnation. At his Incarnation, God comes to man that we might have a new beginning. At his Incarnation, Christ, our new Adam begins to undo what the old Adam did. Christ comes to renew the face of the earth. He comes to show us the face of the Father and he comes that we may have new life, not to be lived under the restriction of the law, but under the direction of grace. Simply put, he has come to increase our joy.
The first reading (Isaiah 9:1-7) in dramatic terms, describes this kind of joy. Biblical experts are of the opinion that the Messianic poem rendered in the first reading was composed by Isaiah around 732 BC when the king of Assyria conquered Israel and relocated the captives to the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, the northeast region of Israel, where they settled among pagans. For the Jews, abandoning their sacred land and worship to dwell among pagans were like moving into darkness and living in the land of the shadow of death for they valued their land and religion so much. In the midst of their despair, Isaiah prophesied, calling them to a future hope in the Messiah who would bring light to those who walk in darkness. Though Isaiah was speaking as if his prophecy was being fulfilled at that time, he was actually revealing what God intended to do in the lives of His people through the child that is to be born among them. This child who is to be called ‘Prince of Peace’ will reign on David’s throne forever.
In the Gospel reading (Luke 2:1-14), we are presented with a historical account of the birth of this child and how the angel brought news of great joy to the shepherds. Tonight, the Church like the angel, is bringing this same message of joy to us. She is inviting us to rejoice and be joyful for the long awaited son has been born to us. What should be our response to this joyful message? First, we are to appreciate the Good news of Christ’s incarnation by living a better life and then, share the joy of his coming with all those around us. More so, as the second reading (Titus 2:11-14) admonishes, we have to give up our worldly ambitions, be self-restrained and live good and religious lives while we wait in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the son of God in glory.
Beloved friends, as we celebrate Christmas, let us eschew every act that will rob us or others of this great joy of the season. Violence, war, terrorism, rape, robbery, murder, suicide and other social vices should not be mentioned among us because the new born king is the Prince of Peace and the Holy One of Israel. All our actions and words should reflect peace and holiness in other to maintain the true spirit of Christmas. Therefore, may we rejoice for the marvelous work God has done for us and be glad to receive this new born king among us Have you created a place for him in your heart or do you want him to remain there in the manger? We can create a space for him in our hearts when we strive to maintain pace rather than breed confusion, when we propagate love rather than hatred, when we tell the truth rather than tell lies, when we are moved by the sufferings of others rather than remain indifferent and when we have time for the things of God within this season rather than being preoccupied with only social events. As we do this, may the joy of Christmas never elude us and may the coming of the Prince of Peace increase our joy and bring us more blessings. Happy Christmas. I love you.