People of God:
I do know it to be true and perhaps you do too, that we are in a very powerfully evocative moment of the year. The word ‘Christmas’ is reminiscent of a lot of things to different people: the joy, peace and love; the get-togethers, delectable delicacies and festivities; the hullabaloos, choirs and hymns, and even the cacophony of deafening alarm bells. The list is endless.
However, the warmth and love surrounding Christmas cannot be overstated. It brings family and friends together and helps us appreciate the love in our lives we often take for granted. The degree of joy that it brings to be savored with family and friends is conspicuous, leaving behind empirical evidences of festive manifestations. No wonder that some people relocate to preferred environments, and some travel miles back home just to worship and celebrate Christmas with those they love.
A long time ago men from the East did all they could and searched for the right location to go and worship. The Bible records:
“Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews?” the wise men inquired. “For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him,” they said (Matthew 2:2).
These were truly the words of wise men inspired by what they saw. They saw the Light and sought to worship. The Light always causes one to desire true worship and adoration. For worship is the essence of Christmas, and the object of such worship is Jesus Christ, the Son born King.
But why is this Light so important and special to us? It’s because the Light of Jesus does not only possess Life, but dispenses Life to men, to us--you and me-- who live on this earth. This Life received from the Light of Jesus now provides Light by which we walk on this earth. Without light, there’s darkness, and those who walk in darkness are no better than blind men. But with the Light coming from the Life that comes from the Light of Jesus, we overshadow darkness in our walk on planet earth.
“If you said that the ability to live successfully on the earth is found only in Jesus Christ, you would be correct.” For the Bible tells us that all things were created in Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16).
Child of God, everything you know makes sense only in Jesus Christ. Only in Him do all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). Can you see why He’s the center of attraction? Can you see why He’s the object of worship? Can you see why His birth inspires true worship and adoration?
Man was never created to live outside of Jesus, and the wise men caught this picture through the Light the saw and started for the search of this divine and exceptionally regal personality of a humble birth.
The Bible further reveals it to us that in the “Light was Life and the Life was the Light of men (John 1:4).” This implies that men have no Light if they have not received Life which comes from the Light of Jesus Christ.
You see, beloved, Jesus is the Light of the world and the Light of men. He is the true living Light that has Life which gives Light to everyone who believes (John 1:9). The Light that darkness cannot receive nor overcome, because it doesn’t comprehend it (John 1:5). But to all who receive Him, including you who will accept Him now or later, will He give power to become children of God (John 1:12). It’s just difficult to conceptualize how powerful the impact of this Light can be? You just can’t imagine it!
Whenever one comes in contact with the Light of Jesus, there’s such an unexplainable, yet unforgettable impact that it leaves on you. A whole new desire is given birth to which causes that individual to desire true worship and adoration. I mean to worship in truth and in spirit. This is the essence of Christmas and the reason for Christmas too. True worship, sincere worship, no faking, no pretence but genuine; in truth and in Spirit.
Jesus reveals to us in John 4:24, that this is the kind of worshipers which Our Father in heaven seeks. Jesus so reveals because He is the only One who inspires such kind of worship. He’s the unique One who can make us the kind of worshipers the Fathers seeks. Without Jesus the Light of the world, we can never attain such feat.
The Light of Jesus turns the hearts of the children back to their Father because the Father’s love is made known to them. For the Father so loved us that He gave His Son Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, in order to save us through Him (John 3:16). Because of the encounter we’ve had with the Son Jesus, we, God’s children, seek to worship Him in all sincerity.
Have you had an encounter with this Light too? Have you experienced the Life that this Light brings? Truly speaking, Wise people still seek Him, although not with hearts on Camels and horseback, but with sincere hearts thirsty for the righteousness of God.
Beloved, this is Christmas, the season of Light. In today’s dispensation, we have all kinds of lights with different colors and designs, ballyhooed all around. When we commercialize the season and overshadow it with activities not germane to Christmas, the risk of becoming mercenary is inevitable, consequently, being robbed of true and sincere worship desired of Him becomes inexorable. May we not lose sight of the main Light we seek to emulate---the Light of Jesus Christ.
There’s an impact in the life of whoever comes in contact with Jesus. That impact inspires true worship. Before the wise men started their long journey to go worship the Son born King, they were inspired by the Light of the Son.
The Light helped the wise men to worship properly. It guided them where to go, what to take along and how to do it. Similarly, we as the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-15), should be helped by that light to effectively worship God always and live properly for Him, especially during this Christmas season. It’s never too late to make a change. Let our light of love shine so that our neighbors may see it and be blessed too.
Now, celebration is also a very crucial part of true worship of God. However, this kind of celebration and partying have nothing to do with sin. Godly partying rejects fornication and adultery. It doesn’t abuse brotherly relationship, or takes advantage of that sister or brother who comes close to you just to worship with you. Godly partying equally rejects stealing and any form of deceit in order to belong or look like the others. It’s not intimidated by what others have but remains comfortable with what it has whether big or small. Therefore, don’t spend beyond your means just to compete with your friends.
In this season of Christmas, make your celebration cheerful and joyful. Worship Him in a lively way, in a way you’re comfortable with, in truth and in Spirit, with your words and actions in congruence, all to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17).
Remember to hold your hospitality, joviality and jauntiness intact, while you express godly love to others this Christmas. Think of your neighbors and invite them home to share a meal. Use the occasion to tell them about Jesus, the Light of the world and the reason for the season. Let them know the hope that Jesus brings to the world as the reason for your joy and celebrations.
In this season, aspire to serve better at work. Avoid any sort of corruption in service. Treat your customers well. Talk to your employees with respect. Strive to avoid all kinds of abusive language, arguments, evil comments and insults from your lips and activities online. Be mindful of what you communicate online not to hurt other’s feelings. Do not criticise your fellow brother via social media, whether facebook, twitter, Instagram etc., rather show proper online respect for yourself and those around you.
To the parents and guardians, Christmas is a great opportunity to witness to your family by being a good example to your children both in words and actions. For what they see in you during this season matters. It may linger throughout their lives imbibed in the collective memories of Christmas. Your parental power is an asset to shape their lives and future. With God’s grace and favor on your side, let the narration be an unflagging gusto to you.
Some of you may also want to forgive and make peace with someone you’ve been angry with for a while. It could be a colleague, a friend, your children or your own husband or wife. Please, tell the person that you are sorry if you are at fault. And if not, still tell them how you missed them, or/and for letting the devil steal a measure of your love. I pray the Lord help you find more creative ways to share the love of Jesus, the Light as we remember His birthday.
Our special Christmas greetings go to their Majesties, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium and the entire Royal family; to The Rt Hon. Charles Michel, the Prime minister of Belgium; to Chief Genevieve Nnaji (MFR), the Eze Ada 1 of Amuzu Nweafor in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria; to our formidable mother and Princess, Caroline U. Akubueze, of Imo State Nigeria.
May the good Lord guide, guard, defend, cover and keep you all. And may the message of Christmas fill your lives with joy and peace. We love you from the innermost recesses of our hearts, and pray God’s richest blessings upon you all during this extraordinary season.
Merry Christmas to you and family.
Reverend Dr. PC Akubueze and Team