Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the relevance and impact of Christmas on the youth

Christmas is a time we remember the fact that Christ became a native of our land. It is a season of joy, peace, and understanding. At Christmas, we celebrate the fact that God became man and dwelt among us. The Christmas season has a structure namely a preparatory period, a feast climax and a denouement. The preparatory period is a time of penance, a time when man prepares his heart for grace. The climax is the time when God gives the fullness of his grace. During the concluding period, we are to turn the lessons of the mystery into practical, Christian modes of conduct. The purpose of this write up is to assess the relevance and impact of Christmas on the youth.
The central point of Christmas is the birth of Christ. He who is the long awaited Messiah; true God and true Man, our savior, “Full of grace and truth; and of his fullness we all have received “(John 1: 14, 16).
Christmas is the feast of mercy and love of God. “For God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him may not perish, but may have everlasting life (John 3:16). Such is the importance which God places on our salvation and our eternal happiness.
It is a time when Christ is born into our souls. Our souls become the new crib into which Christ is born. We are, therefore, called upon to put away our old life and embrace the light of Christ so that the life we live, we live no longer for ourselves but for him who has been born for us. The Lord sets up his throne in our hearts and fills us with His life, His grace and his strength so that the life we live is not ours but Christ lives in us ( Galatians 2:20). That is the purpose and gift of Christmas.
Christmas is also a symbol and a pledge of the glorious coming of Christ which all mankind will witness at the end of the world and which each person will experience individually at the moment of his death. At Christmas He appears among us as the heavenly, glorified Christ, in which form He is once to come to judge the living and the dead.
Christmas is a time Christ is born in us for the first time at the moment of our baptism. He is reborn daily and more perfectly in our souls each time every time we receive him in Holy Communion. Therefore, the birth of Christ through the Virgin Mary is a pledge and a guarantee of the reality of his birth in us, a pledge of our incorporation in his divine life. It assures us of the reality of our function as a branch on the vine of divine life and is a pledge of our eventual resurrection to eternal life and the possession of eternal happiness.

One of the impacts of Christmas on the youth is the virtue of humility is teaches us. If God will leave his glorious throne in order to be a native of our land and above all to save us, then it behoves us to imitate his humility. The circumstances surrounding his birth and his ultimate self- giving to humanity is worth reflecting on.
Christmas should remind us of our own dignity; people created in the image and likeness of God. If we were not precious in the sight of God, THE ONLY SON OF GOD will not have come to die for us. This means that we do not live our lives as if we own our life in our hands. Jesus holds the whole world in his hand and he holds you and me in his hands.
Christmas is again, a time when we are reminded of the forgiving power of God. When we sinned, God did not abandon us to our fate but in the fullness of time, he sent his only begotten son born of a woman to die for us. It is a time to be reminded not to give in to despair whenever we sinned otherwise we render the cross of Christ useless. This is the sin against the Holy Spirit according to the Gospel of John.

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