I am so excited to welcome my dear friend Neibano Yhome( Nibu) to the Blog today. She is sharing with us a beautiful message on Christmas. She narrates lovely Christmas memories of her village here. I am sure her message will touch your heart and guide you into a new realm of Celebration of Christmas.
Growing up in a Christian state, my sleepy village wakes up from her slumber like old Rip Van Winkle every December. The air gets thick with Christmas carols played over loud speakers and the dry, dusty village sparkles at night with cheap fairy lights and handmade colored stars hanging on top of bamboo poles. Christmas trees and simple decorations decked the churches and homes while most shoppers crowded the stores to buy that once in a year Christmas clothes for their children and food supplies.
“Christmas Day!” the very word still evokes a lot of happy childhood memories . Waking up early to have Christmas cake and tea after mom prayed, going to Church nicely dressed up in my brand new outfits and even getting to sing special numbers with my Sunday school class occasionally. And of course, there is always the Christmas feast for everyone at church after the service. It also brings back memories of caroling in the neighborhood, community feasting and endless games and singing around bonfires with family, cousins , neighbors and friends that goes past midnight for weeks. Christmas was a time when the young and old, the rich and poor, the educated and illiterate seem to come together as one to celebrate. A time when everyone contributed what they could so selflessly to keep the celebration going so that even those who can’t afford a celebratory meal were not left behind. With the onset of Christmas week all work cease and everybody seems to forget the harsh realities of life and a mini heaven seem to descend upon the community filled with joy and laughter. But as I mature I realized that those innocent memories of perfect Christmases weren’t so perfect since the reason for Christmas was hardly acknowledged.
Looking at Christmas celebrations then and now, I can say that a lot has changed. The decorations and gifts are grander and a lot more expensive, gourmet meals have replaced the simple dishes in many homes and Christmas carols are mostly confined to churches and headphones. Most people seem to be busy creating that perfect ambience for that perfect party to make Christmas as memorable as possible. Yet, the heart and Soul of Christmas still seems to get lost in the busyness and festivities.
The more I reflect on why Christmas is celebrated , the more I realized, that it is because of the choice that Jesus made to come down to earth for you and I. Christmas is the greatest love story that transcends all other love and defy logic and human reasoning .It is this pure unconditional love that compelled the only Son of God , the king of Kings and Lord of lords, creator of the universe to empty himself and come down to this broken world to die for the sins of fallen humanity. Christmas is about our creator, willingly giving his life so that we can have life in all its abundance. It is about Jesus making a way for us to spend eternity with him, having fully paid the penalty of eternal damnation that we deserved by his own choice. It is about the unrelenting love of God that keep pursuing us to bring us back to where we belong no matter how much we have fallen short of his glory . Christmas is all about Christ and without Him it is meaningless no matter how grand and joyful the celebration is.
So this Christmas, May we truly Celebrate Jesus by giving him the centre stage in our lives and communities. May He receive all the glory and honor due to him since He is the reason of our celebration. May we intentionally take time off our busy schedules and festivities to thank him for choosing to come down for us. And may His freely available unconditional love fill our hearts so that we can spread it to people around us . And may this Christmas truly be a celebration of love coming down from heaven that overflows and touches every heart.
Shalom and a very blessed Christmas to you all.
Neibano lives in Kohima, Nagaland the north-eastern part of India. She is a former DTS Leader in Ywam, Pune and presently she is working as a Youth Evangelist in Baptist Revival Church, Kohima.