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Love is the meaning of Christmas!

28 December 2012 2 Comments

This week was Christmas, and I wonder how many people noticed it?

“Of course we did!” someone will say, “For weeks we were bombarded by all the commercials on TV, with lit streets and decorated shops at every step to remind us it was Christmas! It was nothing but a stressful race to shops and malls to buy all the presents and decorations, as well as the mountain of food needed for the big Christmas dinner with our extended family. Thank God is over, it was too much! I can’t wait for things to return to normal, after the New Year has come…”

That’s exactly why I wonder if you even noticed it was Christmas. Of course it depends on what Christmas means for you! If it’s nothing but a stressful time that puts you under pressure and makes you run around like crazy to keep up with all the social expectations of a secular party, then I understand how you feel and I’m really sorry for you! But I need to tell you that probably you didn’t even notice it was Christmas!

In fact, I wonder if you can even remember what is it that we are celebrating at Christmas… I have this feeling that some people might have forgotten it! Let’s see if we can refresh our memory… As a child, were you ever told the story of a comet that had led some wise men from the East to a small town called Bethlehem, where there was a stable with a little newborn lying in a humble manger between an ox and a donkey?

“C’mon, don’t exaggerate now…”, someone else will say, “Who doesn’t remember that tale we were told when we were kids! My grandma even put some little figures in a corner of the house. What was it called? Ah, yeah! It was a “manger scene”, or something like that!

You must admit, however, that nowadays that tradition is a bit out of style! Although it can still be fashionable to light a tree that all the neighbors can see, it’s much “cooler” these days to hang out of the window the figure of a “Santa” who is climbing up furtively like a thief! That’s a much smarter way to stimulate the imagination of our children…”

Jesus said, “He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. He that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. – I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep” (John 10:1-11).

Forgive me if I sound a bit extreme, but it’s sad for me to see the true meaning of Christmas being stolen by all the commercial activity that goes on during this holiday season! I may be a traditionalist, but my heart is filled with joy every year when Christmas comes around and I see my wife’s face shine like a star, as she asks me to decorate the manger scene with lights and she puts on a CD of Christmas carols to remind everyone that we’re celebrating a major event in our household: the birthday of Jesus!

Yes! At Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, and we don’t really care if someone will say that “He was not born in December,” or that “Christmas is a pagan holiday”, etc. What is important for us is that we celebrate His birth! If Jesus had not been born (no matter what day of the year!) and had not come to earth as one of us to show us that “God is love” (1John 4:8), and if He had not taken our sins and nailed them to the cross, we would not have a chance to learn how to “love one another as He has loved us” (John 13:34)!

That’s what Christmas means to me: the birth of “true love” in this world! That’s what makes it so important for me to celebrate it every year, but we must never forget what it truly means!

Love is the meaning of Christmas! Instead of running around malls, looking for “perfect gifts” to prepare a “perfect party” that eventually left everyone empty and tired, wouldn’t it have been better to stop and think for a moment about how to show more love to those around us?

Well, it’s not too late! The Christmas season is not over yet and there might still be one of your loved ones, friends or relatives, who really needs you, your time, your visit, your smile, even just a word of encouragement from you… Before this Christmas is over and forgotten, let’s take time to love someone who needs us! This is the best gift we can give them! The decorations, dinners and sparkling wines will soon be forgotten, but the time that we dedicate to someone to show them our love will remain in their hearts and memory forever! Don’t let all the business and activities of these holidays make you forget the true meaning of Christmas!

It’s a time to celebrate the greatest gift of love that was ever given to mankind! It was love that made God send His Son to earth as a gift for us! It was love that motivated Jesus to come into this world and give His life for us! It was love that made Mary willing to accept the risk of being stoned as an adulteress by becoming pregnant before marriage! It was love that prompted Joseph to take Mary as his wife, even if she carried a child that was not his! It was God’s love for us that was announced by angels to the shepherds on the hills:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom He is well pleased” (Luke 2:14).

Sincere wishes of love and peace to all, and may God’s blessing rest upon each one of you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2013!

Renato and Patrizia

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As you prepare for the New Year to come, you might want to take some time to reflect on the major areas of your life, as explained in our former article: “New Year’s Eve Ceremony“.
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2 Comments »

  • Ben Stewart said:

    My brother, thank you for your message. We too celebrated the birth of Jesus with you and Patrizia. Together we sang praises to HIM with candles on HIS cake. All of us holding hands as we shared our love for each other and for Jesus. Thankfully we can and do share HIS love and celebrate HIS birth each day. Seeking to be more like HIM; loving without condition.
    I’ve such a long way to grow and am so thankful that HE allows me the latitude to become all that HE has created me to be. I love my brother Renato and lovely wife and dear sister Patrizia. Merry Christmas each and every day of the year. Your brother Ben

  • Renato Amato » Blog Archive » Did you miss Christmas this year? said:

    […] we think that we have “no time” to reflect on “the meaning of Christmas”, we might miss the true purpose of celebrating it and it would almost be better not to celebrate […]