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Jesus’s birth: a possibility for a fresh beginning

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By Can Grace Kaiso

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see” (Luke10:23). This is what Jesus told to his disciples. In relation, we are a blessed generation, and one might ask, how?

When we are surrounded by so many problems, uncertainties, disaster and suffering, we look to Jesus.

Our generation has had the rare experience of an event of global significance, an event that turned the world upside down in terms of our personal and institutional lives, the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite our advances in technology and science, intelligence systems and sophisticated channels of communications, we were left helpless in the face of the pandemic, wrestling with deep questions about life and our place in it as well as with our frailty and vulnerability.

This has disposed us to listening deeply and engaging with existential questions.

Covid-19 brought our activities to a halt, so we might be saved from our blindness and busy-ness, and be forced to feel our limitations, to discover that we are not entirely in control, there is a power that defies our imagination and manipulation, God the Creator.

One changed the world
This kind of reawakening is often either at personal or community level, where, when a tragedy hits, people become disoriented and out of desperation recognise that they need a power beyond themselves to cope.

We are a blessed generation because this reawakening is at a level and a magnitude that we cannot ignore.

We are now much able to relate with the generation that experienced the first Christmas, the birth of Jesus.

We can appreciate that one event can change the course of the world.

We now have the experience that an event can have such a destructive impact on the world as did the pandemic and yet another can have a redemptive effect like the birth of Jesus.

No event is outside God’s awareness and He uses events to fulfil His purposes. To what extent have you harvested from your experience of Covid-19.

What are you hearing from God, what have you learnt about yourself, your community? What changes do you need to make, which things (values) do you need to hold on to.

What have you learnt about the world and how it functions, what needs to change? How about you place of worship?
What have learnt about it in this period? What needs to change?

It is possible for us to drift through such a profound experience like covid-19, without drawing any meaningful lessons from it.

We can appreciate that one event can change the course of the world. (Source/Andrew Sprinter)

Appreciate God
The question is, how do you appropriate the benefits from each event so that God’s purposes can be fulfilled in your life.

A story is told of a child who attended a Sunday school party on Christmas day dubbed ‘the birthday party for Jesus’.
On returning home, the mother inquired about how the birthday party went.

She replied sadly, “the cakes we ate, the sodas were many but baby Jesus was not there”

To the child, it was a celebration without meaning, more like how we may celebrate our national days like, independence, the gist of which has faded away.

For many people, Christmas is about self-indulgence with little relevance to the struggles they may be going through.

Prophet Isaiah, while prophesying the birth of Jesus, conveys the significance of His birth to the world.

Isaiah 9: 2: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned”.

Jesus comes to us as an invading light illuminating and extinguishing all the darkness within our lives. Like Saul’s encounter with the light of Christ on the way to Damascus, it did not leave him the same.

While he drew fulfilment in the persecution of Christians, and paralyzing the spread of the Gospel, after the encounter, he now was overcome with the zeal of spreading the Gospel, willing to suffer for it and to die for it.

Transformation
Isaiah 9:6: “And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Jesus comes to us as the Prince of Peace.

In Him a seed of peace is planted in our midst. We see this in the life of Saul; a ruthless, persecutor of Christians, turning around into a vessel of peace.

He highlighted peace-making as one of the primary roles of every Christian.

It is evident through these transforming experiences of Apostle Paul that in Jesus’ coming we see God’s commitment to turn things around.

This is the good news about Christmas. It is about the possibility of a fresh beginning.

My fellow traveller this Christmas can be different if you welcome baby Jesus to journey along with you.

When I did that many years ago, there were significant shifts in my life and this has also been the experience of many others.

This is not dependant on us but on what God has chosen to do.

To bring us out of darkness into His marvellous light; to break us out of the vicious cycle of defeat and hopelessness, to transform us into instruments for fulfilling His purposes in the world.

Appropriation, a choice
While the birth of Jesus Christ brings about numerous benefits to the whole world, it is our responsibility to appropriate those benefits to our personal lives.

We wish you a meaningful Christmas, but please remember that you are called to be the extension of turning life and things around you towards God’s will.

Forget the former things. Do not dwell in the past.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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