Love Came Down at Christmas

Bishop Dr. Anilkumar John Servand
Bishop of Mumbai Episcopal Area, Methodist Church in India & Chief Acharya of Sattal Christian Ashram, Nainital

Most of us remember our childhood days and the games we played. One of the common games we played was “Hide and Seek”. This was an exciting game that except one person all the others would hide in different places and the person should find us. We would actually think that the place selected by each one of us was safe and will be difficult to locate, but deep within us we were sure the sooner or later we will be definitely be found in our safe little spots.

Portray as though there was a game like hide and seek along with the events that happened in the garden of Eden. This was an event and a real lifenot a game. One day God planned to come in search of man and woman. God knew they were hiding. Both of them were running away from God as they had disobeyed. But God in all His mercies came down to bring life, an abundant life than man had ever known. God came to the rescue of the human beings because He is full of
compassion. God did not come to find and punish them for their deeds. He came to give them hope of eternal life by a sacrifice which He himself would make. It was on Christmas day Jesus left all his heavenly glory and wrapped himself in human garment and started living among the humanity.

Christmas is a time with lots of fun and activities. People give lots of importance to the traditions forgetting the real essence and meaning of Christmas. Few children were addressing to Santa clause as a god who gives the gifts of their choice. One particular child was praying to Santa to stop terrorist activities and all natural calamities and bring peace into this world. Bible is silent about many of these traditions and do not endorse them.

Prior to Christmas four Sundays were observed as Advent Sunday’s meaning the first or opening season of the church.In the first adventprophecies were foretold about the birth of Jesus. People were looking for the messiah. They knew the exact location and specific information was given
through the prophets.In the first comingJesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Advent also refers to the second coming of Jesus and the final judgment.In the final comingno one knows the hour when He will come. Though the signs are given but exact time is not mentioned.He will come to Judge the world and will establish His Kingdom forever.

Jesus became man since human kind could not relate to a God who was distant and abstract. God became a man. Incarnation is the way God works, the way he redeems and reconciles. He
works in flesh through persons, humans telling other humans about redemption, forgiveness, life and love. God lives in us and works through us.Will Jesus of Nazareth have to be borne again? Will another virgin need to be found?It will take an incarnation, but it will be an incarnation in
us and through us. As Christ came to proclaim good news, he commissions us to proclaim the message that he lived and died. In John 20:21 Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Incarnation calls for reconciliation. The message of Christmas is God lives in us and works through us. God and human are partners. The purpose of the first incarnationwas to facilitate future incarnations in our community. God became flesh in us. He is localized and visualized in
us. To some we are the only picture of God they will see.As we provide sick and elderly persons, God provides for the sick and the elderly. As we visit nursing homes and hospitals, God ministers in those places. As we proclaim the good news of forgiveness of sins we do so for God
as his representatives. God is in us, and he does his mission in the world through us.

On Christmas day God entered this world as a sinless human being and gave His life for us so that we could have a relationship with Him. Therefore we become channels for redeeming. The redeemed redeem. Christmas defines whose we are, who we are and what we are.

“Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and the year 2018”