Christmas Joy: Simply Deep and Unique

Response on the joys we celebrate at Christmas ( A guide towards understanding that God’s time is the best)


The joy we celebrate in Christmas is unique. The season implants a special atmosphere throughout the world. To remember Christmas is simply to be joyous. One, I Can not but be happy when we remember both the spiritual and social dew that the season diffuses. It is a period of joy deeper than happiness.   In the words of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), happiness is “the experience of pleasure and absence of pain.” Since pleasure and pain are responses to conditions, the pursuit of happiness requires controlling our conditions for the increase of pleasure and the reduction of pain. The birth of Christ not only reduces our pain, but it removes it. It does not merely increase our joy but it makes our joy complete. This is the kind of joy that one experiences and proclaim readiness for death as Simeon set the pace. Cf Luke 2:30.

Christmas season is an important period in the life of the church. It is the time of the Lord’s favour, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation. Do you know that this particular time was waited for by many?  Do you know also that very good number of Patriarchs and prophets longed and prayed and yearned with all their hearts for this time? But when the appointed time came God intervened in human history, and we became the beneficiaries of this immense grace. We are fortunate to be among those who live in the period of fulfilment.

What then is the joy we celebrate? We celebrated what St Gregory Nazianzen calls ” The wonderful exchange” What does that mean; It means, ” The son of God himself, who is before all ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the bodiless, the beginning from the beginning, the light from the light, source of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, immovable seal, unchangeable image, the father’s definition and Word, he it is who came to his image and took to himself flesh for the sake of our flesh”. Gods time is the best! God knows the best time. God fixed a time for his promises, and a time for fulfilling what he has promised. Hence according to the Discourse of St Augustine on the Psalms, “we are celebrating the fulfilment of a promise which started from the time of the prophets up to John the Baptist; the period of fulfilling what he promised is from the time of John and henceforward to the end”.

Therefore, we are fortunate to be a generation living within the most expected and longed moment in human history. We are the most fortunate generation. A generation who knows what mercy of God means. We saw that God brought us back by love, in a time when he saw that the world was engulfed by fear and confusion. We are fortunate and advantageous because God came visibly into his domain; his creation sustained him, that creation which he sustains. Hence, Christ coming made it possible for men to see God. The prophets already indicated that ” God would be seen by men” Men could not force God to intervene in their history, the man did not see God by their power; but God of His own will appears to men, to whom He wills, and when he wills, and as he wills as St Irenaeus would explain on his treatise against Heresies.

We celebrate the joy of Christmas because God came to us, to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us to eternal life. God coming into the world is the greatest reward of a long period of waiting patiently and fulfilment of our hope. The coming of Christ has many positive impacts on human history. In the. In the Canticle of Zachariah  “Benedictus”, we do pray ” Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised for us a mighty saviour, born of the house of his servant David”. We, therefore, celebrate at Christmas our freedom and liberation from the old aged bondage. We celebrate liberty, freedom and evil.


What then is our response to this unmerited grace from God? One of Central message the church passes to her children during Christmas is a call “to “Rejoice”. Rejoicing is the first reaction as a response towards the coming of Messiah. This clarion call to rejoicing was made obvious on the third Sunday of advent. The coming of Christ brought greater joy and happiness to the world.  In rejoicing, Simeon acclaimed that his eyes have seen the salvation which was prepared for all nations. Simeon not only rejoiced but he is willing to die of joy what he has seen. On the day of presentation his joy knew no bounds and he acclaimed  ” At last all-powerful master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace according to your promise: for my eyes has seen your salvation which you have prepared for all nations. Simeon’s reaction gave the atmosphere of greater joy.

Zacharia calls us to “rejoice” as a response to the birth of Christ thus: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zac. 9:9.

The aspect of “Praise and Thanksgiving” is a popular theme as a response to the joy we celebrate in Christmas. We show appreciation to God for coming to be one of us. We see the humble appreciation and Thanksgiving in the action of Mary who is the mother of God. When the message of Christmas was given her, he started praising God. The magnificate made us understand fully the thankful heart of Mary. St Bede the venerable in explaining the action of Mary in his commentary on St luke states it thus “Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great, so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it, and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it. I offer then all the powers of my soul in praise and thanksgiving” Mary was thankful for what God has done to the world through him.

The coming of Christ should be able to make us thankful.

Therefore the Christmas season is a special time. Is a time we all long for. The church calls her children to celebrate and rejoice. Remember that the bridegroom is with us, we do not need to fast as we were told by Jesus in Mt 9:15.  But we should as hands and feet of Jesus continue to fulfil the injunction of on community living; visiting the sick, feeding the poor, visiting the prisoners, helping the less privilege and supporting those who are in any kind of need. These are many more are our response to the joy we celebrate at Christmas.

I encourage everyone to participate actively in the Eucharist celebrations, where the church through her readings will explain to us this joyful mystery we celebrate.

On the social aspect, I encourage you to join your friends who will be receiving the various sacrament in rejoicing for what God will do in their lives. Both those that will receive the first holy communion and those who will receive the sacrament of matrimony, Holy orders and the rest. The youths will be celebrating these great joy by displaying their talents in the field of play. Go out and watch them and join in the happiness and joy.

Finally, it is encouraged that pastors of souls should help God’s people to celebrate well. Having prepared them well through advent season, we should help them to celebrate well in its fullness the joy of Christmas. Don’t put crusades and the likes on the Christmas octave. Do not struggle with the field of events on the grounds of having one crusade or the other, allow them to celebrate and don’t put them in pains. Things are hard we know, but the message of Christmas has thought us that God intervenes in any situation in his way and his own time.

We pray that our heart may be filled with joy at the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I pray that God may bless you and may he grant your family members journey mercies as we journey in this great period in history.

Merry Christmas and Have a prosperous New Year.

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