Are we Missing somewhere along the Line?
Truth is stranger than fiction… (Mark Twain). Rumours can be sipped easily but not the real story. The mysterious nature surrounding the virgin birth of Christ remains a fable to many. “A virgin birth? That’s impossible,” says the sceptic. It’s a mistranslation of the word “virgin,” some biblical scholars would assert. It’s all a concocted story borrowed from a pagan worship called the sun god, says another. Miracles can happen but not a virgin birth! Who would believe such a lie?Centuries have gone by; this mysterious story of a man called Jesus born of a virgin in an old town of Bethlehem is still an intriguing figure for many. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” How true? The world has never been the same with the advent of this God-man. Who can deny that? Nations, society and ethnic groups have been touched and transformed for good. Today, over 2 billion people pledged allegiance to His Lordship. The confounding fact of this eternal truth remains as the Christian community around the world celebrate and commemorate this glorious event of His virgin birth yearly. It is the story of divinity in humanity.
We asked, “What’s so unique about a carpenter’s son born in the land of Palestine 2000 years ago? “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael would say. A story about a man who has no place to lay his head, considered a drunkard and a friend of sinners, called a maniac by his own family, labelledas a law breaker and a demon-possessed by His fellow religious counterpart. A ministry which lasted for only three and half years confined within the boundary of His people. A travelling preacher, an exorcist, a healer, a prophet and a King yet was never recognized by the world. His life was cut off at the prime of youth and vigour. He died the death of a criminal but rose to immortality as the Saviour of humanity. Never in our mind can we understand God’s plan and His mysterious ways.
But have you heard it? Do you know him? There are about 354 prophecies that were fulfilled in Him alone. Every single minute details regarding his lineage, nature, place of birth, His hometown, His ministry, purpose, the manner and nature of His death and resurrection and many others were predicted hundreds of years before His arrival on the scene. It all points to one thing that He was not just an extra-ordinary man but God-incarnate.
The anticipation of the people for centuries has now been consummated in their age at the announcement of His birth by the angels. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests,” refrains as sung majestically by host of the heavenly creatures. “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. He will be greatand will be called the Son of the Most High and he will reign forever; his kingdom will never end.” This proclamation itself sets the stage for this king of glory. It was the first Christmas for the few shepherds including the Deity’s foster parents. Nobody else knew His arrival. The town was filled with noisy streets and business affairs of all kinds and in this little corner of the town; a Saviour has been born to them.
As the years go by, the world celebrating Christmas without Christ is growing more blatant. Celebration with all the outside superficialities with Christmas trees and Santa Claus (not biblical), exchange of gifts (but not to the poor), new clothes (but not to the one in the streets), decorations with light and stars (but not inthe inner souls), lots of programs and feasting (but not in the spiritual activities), visiting the native places (but not the Church), time for merriment and enjoyment (but not in prayer and fellowship), and a whole lot of time for other stuffs butnot in the true spirit of Christmas. Our towns and villages are busy gearing up for the celebration of Christmas but are we missing somewhere along the line?
Kohima Bible College.