Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, as is common during the season of Advent, the preparation season before the celebration of Christmas, we heard about the promise of God of the coming of a Deliverer, of the descendants of Jesse and David, Who would come to save the world and bring peace and true harmony upon it, the Messiah and Saviour of the world.
God has revealed all of His intentions, His love for us and His desire for us to be reconciled and reunited with Him through His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who have shown the future that awaits us if we listen to Him, know and understand His will, and follow His ways in our lives and in all the things we do in this life. God does not wish for us to be destroyed because of our own sins and wickedness, but He hopes that all of us will eventually find our own way to Him.
People from throughout the ages, ever since the days of Adam, the days of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David, and from the days of the kings and the prophets all have waited very long for the coming of the Lord’s deliverance and the fulfilment of all His promises which He had made to all of us. To all of them God had promised that men will be brought out of their misery and their slavery to sin, and the glory of God will be with men, and He will dwell with them, as God who is with His people, Emmanuel.
And for so long the people could only hope and wish to see, know and witness the coming of the time of deliverance, and they could not see it, even though they longed for it. That was what Jesus meant when He said to His disciples that they were truly blessed to have been able to witness the events as they unfolded at that time, for they themselves were witnesses to the works of God’s salvation.
And at the same time, there were also so many other people who were also blessed to be witnesses of God’s direct works of bringing His salvation to them, including even the Pharisees, the elders, the teachers of the Law and the scribes. Judging by looking at the number of times these people actually followed Jesus and His disciples, and how many times they have tried to test the Lord and doubted Him, they would have been the ones to witness our Lord’s works the most!
And yet, as we know it, and as we have witnessed throughout the Gospels, many if these people refused to believe in Him, and even though their eyes had seen, their ears had heard, and their own hands and feet had felt and witnessed the great works of the Lord made through Jesus, His Son, our Lord and Saviour, they deemed those works as the works of the devil.
Remember what the Lord had said to Thomas, His disciple? Thomas was not around when the Lord appeared to His disciples for the first time after His resurrection, and he refused to believe that the Lord had risen from the dead. Yet, when Jesus finally appeared to him on the next occasion, he believed and proclaimed his faith before Jesus. And Jesus praised all those who have not seen and yet believed.
Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his faith, as it is still better for someone to believe after seeing the truth, rather than those who have seen, and yet refused to believe. Indeed, for all of us, we should ask ourselves, as we have not seen directly what the Lord had done for His people, do we then truly believe in Him? Is our faith truly genuine or is it just a passing statement?
Let this be something for all of us to ponder on, as we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas, the joy and the celebration of the day of our Lord’s birth into this world. Let us all ask ourselves, have we truly believed in Him? And have we then taken this consideration into account as we celebrate and have all the joys in Christmas? Is Christ even somewhere in our celebrations? Or is the celebration just about ourselves and about us being happy?
Christmas is not just about the gifts, the merrymaking and all the happiness we have by all the holidays, the shopping and all the time we have to enjoy in revelry with one another. It is truly about the Lord, about giving thanks to the One Who had made it all possible for us. Without Christmas, when our Lord willingly came down into this world in order to save us, there would have been no hope for us, save for eternal damnation.
Let us all therefore refocus our attention to the Lord, and as we prepare to celebrate Christmas this Advent, let us all make our celebrations more proper and meaningful by placing our Lord Jesus Christ at the centre of all our celebrations and joys. May we all find true joy in Him, our Lord and our Saviour. God bless us all. Amen.