Every year, as Christmas approaches, you hear Christmas carols everywhere. Sometimes to the point where another Silent Night would make you want to silent the sound system.
Everyone is scrambling to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in a list that seems miles long. The queues to pay up and the queues for a parking lot seem endlessly long too.
Christmas cards are sent out to friends and family, some of whom you might not have seen for years.
Beautifully decorated christmas trees pop up every where. Buildings are dressed in lights, mistletoes, bells, and other Christmas decorations. Santa Claus, his elves and reindeer are seen every where. Kids get more and more excited as Christmas approach. Even grown ups prepare for the onslaught of Christmas partying during that time of the year. Party dresses are purchased. Everyone gets ready to dress to their nines.
In all this excitement, do you know what you are celebrating?
What is Christmas actually? It sometimes seems like a brillian invention of the toy makers to push sales of toys to all the parents around the world. A sales marketing ploy of the retail industry.
Actually, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Long ago, a little baby was born to a girl who was still a virgin. The baby was born in a manger, among the animals, yet angels proclaimed his birth. Wise men followed a star that marked his birth and presented him with precious gifts, to pay homage to him. It all seemed so beautifully sweet.. until you realise the reason why this child was born.
This baby was born to die. To be crucified on the cross while still in his prime. Killed alongside murderers, on the insistence of the crowds, even though he had not committed a crime... days after being welcomed into Jerusalem by crowds of people waving palm leaves, shouting Hosanna, praising him.
It was a gruesome death. He was whipped and then his body, all covered with blood, still a live, was nailed to a cross and left to die. Upon his death, the skies turned dark. There was an earthquake The curtain separating the holiest place in the temple in Jerusalem from the rest of the area was torn in two.
3 days later, his tomb was empty and the heavy stone was rolled away. His disciples and those close to him saw him. He spent time with them, ate with them, showing he was alive and not a ghost. Later, while talking to a crowd of people, he rose up in the sky disappeared into the clouds.
All this happened for a reason.
The first man and women, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. That was the first sin. From then on, every one of us sins. A tiny white lie, doing what we know we shouldn't do... The penalty for sin is death. The only one who did not sin is Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus. Jesus had to die on the cross to win forgiveness for anyone who chooses to accept his gift. The real Christmas gift.
Sounds far fetched? That's why they are called miracles. Miracles are still happening today. All over the world. Check out Lighthouse which has miracle services every Saturday. You can read the pastor's latest sermon each week there too.
A good resource that explains every detail of the Christmas story is http://www.answersingenesis.org/ Actually, that site explains the creation vs evolution theories, dinosaurs and a lot more.
So the next time the pressures of Christmas preparations drive you up the wall and you wish you could kill the person who invented Christmas, don't worry. You already have.
The writer is the webmaster of Christmas giftshop.