Life taking care of life
The central Christian celebration of Christmas is approaching fast. In our family, it starts on December 7th, for the Hungarian time of Christmas. It is close to the Jewish time of Hanukkah, this year November 28th to December 6th, a celebration of freedom from oppression, no coincidence there. This also overlaps the beginning of Advent, a time commemorating Christ our deliverer ‘coming’ both as a child and later when He returns to usher in His heavenly kingdom. In the West, this starts on the Sunday between November 27th and December 3rd each year and goes through to December 24th. In the Eastern Orthodox church it starts on November 15th and goes to December 24th.
If one was to look at the reasons behind Christmas, its true historical meaning is only found in the Bible, the number one bestseller in history.
In this “Celebration of Eternal Thanksgiving”, you would discover a Life willing to protect the value of yours, through a sobering personal sacrifice of Himself.
Called “Christ-mas,” or in Greek ‘X-mas’ (the X being the first letter in the word Χριστός, which means “Christ”), it is a commemoration of gratefulness to our tremendous God, who came to us in the form of a little child, in order to live a life like us, so we would know He related to our struggles, and we could identify with Him. He became vulnerable to the ravages of our own internal darkness and despair by becoming human, yet he never succumbed to, and so wasn’t corrupted by its influence. His quality of existence was beyond any of ours, and so He offered Himself up as our replacement in the judgment and destruction of the power of sin over our lives.
Human beings have an unfortunate habit of compromising themselves, often when they mean otherwise. This is evidence of the indwelling of a sin principle, an infection in the heart of humankind, which produces the irrationality of control and fear, coldness of heart, selfishness and the like. Nevertheless, in order to remove those very impulses at their source, Christ sought us and died in our place to remove habitual and impulsive bondages. Now we celebrate His life of Love at Christmas time, and pay it forward to others, in gratefulness.
Because the nature of His life is God Himself, Jesus acted as His own supplier of the vessel, which would contain the power of guilt, fear, anger and prejudice, operating in our inner lives. That vessel was Himself, a child born into this world to grow to purpose. Full of the contriteness we need and seem oblivious to, He died in a chosen act of Love, through the agonizing method of the cross. He transferred to Himself, the spiritual substance of sin found within us. The protective anger of God for us, was unleashed on Him while winning peace for us with the same source of Life; God. The pain of separation from ultimate Love and the brutal effects of sin upon us, which went along with it, was endured by Christ so we could be preserved eternally; if we will allow His gift of life to rule us.
He acted protectively against our mass degradation, as an immune system that has to kill a virus. That virus was too strong for any of us or all of us, collectively, to beat. Consequently, it needed to be transferred to another host, in this case Himself; then His unlimited immune system could destroy the “virus of sin”. Once the immunity was unleashed and the virus destroyed, the inoculation was prepared and drawn from his own blood. The wisdom of this is apparent in the development of a vaccine against Covid 19 today.
I watched a special on TV of those in Britain who responded to a call for a medical procedure, one where healthy persons would be injected with the Covid virus and remain under medical supervision until the virus had run its course, all with the intention of identifying and gleaning antibodies and knowledge with which to master this enemy. They were laying down their lives to save all of us who need the help, that’s “Goodwill toward [others].” What a parallel!
You’ve heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” in addition, building our immune system through organic diet, exercise, and supplementation, herbal or not, is great. Yet, the sound wisdom of preventative maintenance includes a willingness to recognize susceptibility in the first place. The irony is, if we applied this logic in life, we may not inherit such weakness to viruses in general, and would likely have much lower infection rates, struggle less to fight them off, or lose as many to them.
Just like in Christian circles, it is always advocated to follow the wisdom in the Bible. A person needs to learn about their spiritual health condition and the reasons for any struggles they may have.
As far as the cure for spiritual disease, in the nature of each of us, is concerned, what remains is for us to ask God for the inoculation, confessing trust in Jesus sacrifice and offer of his victorious life to inhabit us and provide spiritual relief. It’s good science really, if you’ll look at it, it has been left up to us as to what we will do with the offer of a healthy spiritual immune system.
The reason Christ’s sacrifice hasn’t brought “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men” to so many out there, is because it still remains for each person to recognize and admit to God they need this outside help; He is also biblically known as the Great Physician. Being in the dark leaves one unable to truly perceive, and as a knee-jerk reaction, many rely on their own uninformed judgment. It’s pride and fear, manipulating us to resist the needed help from another. This is not a sound way to navigate any issue.
The fact is, sin remains in the world around. Much unnecessary suffering is due to our lack of acceptance of Christ’s benefits ruling in our hearts on a personal basis.
Like any disease, it is cured one cell at a time, as the vaccination spreads through the body. If we accept the life of this child, born for us in the darkest time of the year, to provide Life, the warmth of connection through our mutual association with Him, and the rule of Love in our hearts, God’s gift of substitution could then individually destroy what harms us inside, and collectively, there may be a little more “Peace on earth and Goodwill” toward all of us, all year round.
In this Season of Thanksgiving, “Merry X-mas.”