Christmas Is Coming!!!
December has once again arrived, and the yuletide season has begun, and so is the Advent season. The word advent comes from the Latin word, adventus, which means “the coming”. It was originally used in events where royalties and v.i.p.’s were involved, and it was an important day for the people as they prepared and celebrated this event with them. With us Christians, we prepare for the coming of our messiah, Jesus Christ.
Advent season spans 4 Sundays before Christmas. It is symbolized by a round wreath, green leaves, and 4 candles. A round wreath symbolizes God‘s eternal love and His eternal being, with no beginning and no end. Green leaves symbolizes the constant love that God provides. Take note that Christmas is in December, where all the leaves are gone. With God, there is no season for love, because He loves us unconditionally all the time no matter what. The 4 candles symbolizes the 4,000 years of waiting for Jesus, from creation to the last days in the Old Testament.
In preparation for the Lord’s coming, there are a few things that we can do which is summarized by the acronym PASKO. P stands for Presensiya (Filipino word for presence). In today’s world, I see a lot of people who get together, but are not really together. I see familes dining out in the restaurant, and I see the dad reading a newspaper, the wife texting, the children: one is playing games on his PSP (Playstation Portable), another accessing Facebook on her wi-fi-enabled cellphone, and a kid talking to his mom, who doesn’t even seem to realize that her kid is talking to her. I see a lot of people like this nowadays. We need to get back to the basics and go back to the olden days when we were without these gadgets and yet people were happy just the same, because they enjoyed each other’s company doing things together and bonding with each other. We need to get more involved witth each other, so that we may share God’s love.
A stands for Alay ng sarili. (Filipino phrase for offering ones’ self) We need to sacrifice some time to be with people we love and care even if we are busy always. It also pertains to helping a stranger out when situation calls for it. This is how we spread the love of God to others, just as God selflessly gave us His Son to save us. For parents, taking your time off just to get to know your kid better and possibly learn about any problem that he might have in school or elsewhere which you may be able to help makes a lot of impact on your child’s life.Chistmas season is all about getting to do the things that you don’t normally get to do so often, like visiting your parents and helping out with their chores.
S stands for Samba. (Filipino word for worship) How do you worship the Lord? The most obvious way is through prayers of praise and thanksgiving, but it doesn’t only end with that. You glorify the Lord also through your actions, thoughts and words. If your heart is filled with God’s love, then the words that you speak, the thoughts that you think, and the actions and feelings that you do and feel should come from what is overflowing from your heart. When you reflect Christ in you, you are worshiping the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul.
K stands for kenosis, which means self-emptying. The Bible says that Jesus emptied himself (cf. Philippians 2:7), implying that Christ ceased to either be God altogether or from having certain Divine attributes. This is also known as the Kenosis theory, with the word Kenosis originating from the verb used by Paul in the text itself. Jesus sacrificed Himself for the generations before up to now. Jesus had only 2 commandments: “Love God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul”. The second is “Love your neighbors as I have loved you.” As we have witnessed how Jesus selflessly lived His life helping others and never expecting anything in return except for us to believe in God and to love one another, we, too, should treat everybody like that, even strangers who we may be able to help. We should also forgive our transgressors with love, as we ourselves offend others too, at times, for we are not as perfect as God.
O stands for Ora mismo. (Filipino term for At this very instant, or immediately) Don’t sit on your comfy chair contemplating on whether you should do what you think is right or just wait another day when you have finally finished your business so that you may have more time for them. While you do this everyday, your children are growing older and before you know it, time would have caught up and soon there will be no more time for you to do them. Live life without having any regrets. If you feel that you could do something good, don’t wait till the last minute. Do it immediately, for you’ll never know when God will claim the lives of those whom you love, and yours too. Take the story of the bridegroom’s wedding feast to heart. Always equip yourselves with enough oil on your lamps so that when the bridegroom comes, you won’t be one of those who will be prevented from joining the feast. Be prepared. Don’t waste your life away on senseless things, but value the things that are more important for your permanent future. Invest in your own salvation and the salvation of others as well.
So with all these mentioned, if we follow these guidelines, we should be able to prepare ourselves in celebration of the Lord’s coming. Christmas is a season for giving and loving, for God is all about love.
May the yuletide season bring you an abundance of blessings as you bless others with what you are blessed with!