When you are hired last by a company, expect you’d be among the last in the Christmas bonus list. The firsts are the more tenure employees.
But in the Biblical view, “… the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16).
The world loves to see paybacks or retaliation. When someone gets victimized by bad people, the movie gets popular when the victim or the hero or the underdog is able to fight back and defeats the bad people. I guess if the hero says, “It’s ok. Let’s forgive the person who hurt me” and no conflict is created, the movie is boring.
But in the Biblical view, meekness is strength. “Blessed are the meek.” is in Matthew 5:5. Meekness is strength not weakness.
The Bible teaches differently from the world’s perception.
In the world, people desire to just get and receive for themselves. Acts 20:35 quotes Jesus when he said giving is receiving and that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
The world looks up to the famous and popular over an ordinary citizen. But Jesus teaches us that the least is the greatest when He ordered the children to come to him and declares that the Kingdom of God belongs to them (Luke 16:18).
And for the world, when one dies, it’s the end. Nothing to expect. But Luke 17:33 teaches us that dying is living (“Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.”).
As Christmas Day draws near, my focus next to the baby Jesus is Mother Mary.
She lived in a society that looks down, and even punishes to death those who commit immorality. Mary knew the consequences of saying “yes” to bear a child even before marrying Joseph. Yet she hangs on to faith that God’s order will bring life and not death to her. She will be alright in God’s hands.
When we learn to live by God’s truth, we can expect God to save us from the world’s stinging expectations, oppressions and rejections. The truth, in God’s terms, will eventually set us free.
The paradox continues.
As our country reels from one calamity to another, the Filipino spirit soars high to inspire other nations. Our fall has raised the spirit of generosity and kindness of all people in the world. Our pain became the world’s gain.
It has been so heartwarming to see God’s truth of “giving more than receiving” being lived by all strata in society who pulled different resources to help rebuild the areas devastated by the recent earthquakes and supertyphoon.
From where I reside, I love the sound of planes taking off and landing because it always amazes me how human ingenuity was able to invent the aircraft that makes our lives easier today. But to hear cargo planes frequently flying out, its heavier sound can be daunting. But I know that the more deafening the cargo planes’ sound, the more it means that help is on the way to the survivors of the calamities and therefore, more lives are being saved. I don’t mind the noise then! This is a case of having more noise means more peace means more life.
Jesus’ birth is a paradox in itself. His birth has brought death to sin and death to the faithless ones. Yet later, his death on the cross will bring us new life.
God’s pain to send His Son to be born and then die on the cross becomes our gain to enjoy eternal salvation. And that is the greatest love of all times.
No matter how different the world’s view on love and life has become, our celebration of Christmas every year is proof that God’s love for us supersedes everything that the world may believe in. Whatever the world may become, Christmas shall remain a season of love, life, joy and peace.
And all these I wish for all of you reading this and I pray that we all can stand up and live God’s truth more than the world’s.
A blessed Christmas to all! Stay in God’s presence.
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