Why celebrate?

On my way home last night, I saw that Christmas lighting had been put up, as usual at this time of the year. The word 'Celebrate', in glowing red, was particularly eye-catching.

The problem with many people here is that they do not think deeply about what it is that they are celebrating. As long as there is a day designated for a certain cause, be it a birthday or a festival, they 'celebrate'. Without any deep thinking or reflection, the celebration is no more than what the popular Chinese saying 'Eating, drinking, playing, merry-making' suggests. As Larry Gillick of Creighton University's Online Ministries said, "We do tend to cram into the emptiness and longing of Advent, Christmas parties and staff, faculty, office dinners which can make the celebration of His birth, and ours, not very uplifting."

But then he added: "We have time! There is still stillness to give us a sense of waiting, wanting, watching." Very well said indeed. "Stillness" is what we need for us to reflect on the meaning of this day for which we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. Jesus Himself said this about the purpose of His coming into the world: "Behold, I come to do your will, O God." (Hebrews 10:7)

This, therefore, is the biggest reason for our celebration - that God's will is to be done through the birth of Jesus. And, as Elizabeth said when she greeted Mary, "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled" (Luke 1:45). The birth of Jesus is the biggest testimony of how what was spoken by the Lord would be fulfilled.

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