by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

“Our King has come, our King has come. Glory to the King, Emmanuel, God with us!”Our house is filled with music as we sing together this song by Victory Worship.

Our hearts are filled with joy and anticipation as we look forward to the celebration of Christmas.

Our souls well up with gratitude and hope as we declare that God is with us.

Over the years, the real essence and meaning of Christmas have been clouded with flickering lights, opulent celebrations and gift-giving.

Remembering and meditating on the ‘Christ’ behind the word ‘Christmas’ will bring us back to the real reason for the season, and will enable us to fully celebrate and experience the joy that this beautiful time brings.

Christmas or the mass on Christ’s day is about the birth of Jesus. We celebrate Advent, which means the ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’. His coming.

Jesus. Yeshua.He saves. He rescues. He delivers. But why do we need saving? Why did Jesus have to come?

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, He would have sent an economist.

If He had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, He would have sent us a comedian or an artist.

If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, He would have sent us a politician.

If He had perceived that our greatest need was health, He would have sent us a doctor.

But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from Him, our profound rebellion, our death; and He sent us a Savior.”
— D.A Carson, A call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His PrayersWe were dead to our sins. We were helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Until Jesus came along.

He has come as a baby born on a manger, became one of us, and eventually died for us so we can have life and have it to the full.

As our pastor powerfully preached, Jesus rescues us from the penalty, power and presence of sin in our life.

In Jesus, we have experienced grace and mercy we don’t deserve but have been freely given. And not only did He give us life, He gave us amazing gifts that no amount of money can buy.

In Jesus, there is hope. Trusting in circumstances, things and people of this world will leave us disappointed and wanting.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31).

Those who wait upon Him will not be frustrated for He is faithful. Peace.
In Jesus, there is peace.  In Isaiah 9:6-7, the birth of Jesus Christ has been prophesied.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In this world, there will be troubles but those who put their hope in Jesus can take heart for He has overcome the world and He gives peace that transcends understanding.

Whatever you are going through, may these words of Jesus encourage you, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

In Jesus, there is joy. This world breaks our hearts and brings loneliness and sadness. But in Christ, there is fullness of joy that no circumstance can ever take away.

It has been promised that the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:10).

Though we have not seen him, we love him. Though we do not now see him, we believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:8)Love.
In Jesus, there is love. He is love.For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

It is because of love that Jesus has come. It is by His love that we have been ransomed, forgiven, and redeemed. We celebrate Christmas because of His great love for us, His children.

When Mary, the mother of Jesus, received the news from angel Gabriel that she was having a baby as a virgin, she must have been anxious and shocked.

But yet she responded with these words, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”Whatever we are believing for this Christmas and in the coming year, may we respond the way Mary did. May His will prevail in our lives.May the hope, peace, joy and love of Jesus Christ be experienced and made manifest in your lives this holiday season and in the year that is about to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Have a wonderful CHRISTmas ADVENTure!

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