By Sentiyula Along
When Jesus Christ was sent to earth more than two thousand years back, his name was already decided. Jesus was a common name. However, the name was a code word for God’s activity on earth. Jesus was also called “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” He was a most precious gift from heaven to mankind. Many other names were also given to him and many qualities were attributed to him. Some of these qualities are opposites but they do not contradict each other. For instance:
- He was God and man too;
- He was the authority over the greatest and the comforter of the smallest;
- He was the confidante to the biggest and the smallest;
- He suffered immensely only to shine with glory;
- He wept so that we could laugh in joy;
- He humbled himself to the point of calling himself a worm (Psalm 22: 6) even though He was the Son of God;
- He is the narrow gate that leads to a wide life;
- He taught us how to be obedient in the smallest of things in order to be the greatest in the kingdom of God;
- He is the light sent to dispel the darkness;
- He is the Lamb of God as well as the Lion of Judah;
- He was born in a manger even though he owned the entire world.
So also His birthday Christmas is celebrated in different ways today. The essence of Jesus is so rich that without Him inside of us we are just empty shells or coverings. The food, gifts, lights and festivities that we have during this season may be enjoyable, but they are just momentary if we do not have Him inside our hearts throughout the year. If the name of Jesus is so powerful, then we Christians who carry His name should live like Him- loving the unloved, caring for the sick, mending the broken and living victorious Christian lives.
Jesus was good, holy and had eternal life. Luke 2: 40 say that “the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favour and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him. Our body, mind and spirit should also grow in order to be complete. This is not possible by human strength but by the God of Peace himself who sanctifies us through and through , making our spirit , soul and body complete and blameless which we find written in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 .
When we make the choice to be like Jesus we also make the choice to reject the world. James 1: 27 tell us to be unspotted and uncontaminated from the world. We are to be in this world, yet not of it. In order to live like Christ we have to be humble, obedient and purposeful. He obeyed and fulfilled all the tasks assigned to Him in the 33 years that he lived on earth. He also exercised self-control. He was tempted just like the rest of us are by the desires of the flesh but he managed to let the fruit of the spirit triumph over the flesh. And therefore, as Jesus was physically crucified on the cross for our sins, we should also be willing to crucify the desires of our flesh.
And this is what Christmas means to me– a rejection of the world and an embracing of all the qualities that Jesus possessed, so that we can carry a bit of heavenly peace with us throughout the year and not just during Christmas. Then surely, God will always be with us.
Sentiyula Along is an Assistant Professor teaching English at Dimapur Government College