Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Message II

How absolutely incredible it is to think that the creator of the universe should make his entry on such humble terms. While the world waited for the pomp and splendor of the announcement of a King, in the darkest night and the gentle whisper of the cold wind, one of the greatest events in human history transpired as God did what he does best. He took a simple stable, on an obscure side of Bethlehem and transformed it into the ornate chambers of a King.

Jesus was not born in the self-sufficient palaces of King Herod, where pride, privilige, prestige and position were the order of the day. Neither was he born in the inn of a pre-occupied inn-keeper concerned with entertaining his guests who were there to stay on a temporary basis that he lost the opportunity to host the arrival of one, whose kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting. He was born in a stable, in a place of availability and humility.

Christmas is not just a historical event we remember and celebrate each year. It can become a present reality as the Christ of Christmas is reborn in the stables of our hearts today. He still does his greatest work in the most unexpected places and in the least likely people. When you and I open our hearts to His love, then, we will truly experience the spirit of Christmas, which is peace, the joy of Christmas, which is hope, and the heart of Christmas, which is love.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is a time to see

O Holy night
Silent trail and starlight
Star among stars it may seem
Zealous over nature's theme
Reveal not an obscure dream
Eye of darkness never behold
Endangered lie as truth unfold

O Bethlehem
Of thee I sing
Ornate chambers of a king
Bliss of Heaven now descend
License my heart to amend
Not by scaling mortal height
A child alone doth make right
Helpless child cradled behold
Helpless yet help me be whole

O glorious sight
My relentless delight
Grandeur of eternity
Dissolve my enmity
From without and within
Legacy of original sin
Perpetual breath incarnate made
Dispel gorge and dreary shade
Smoldering manger a borrowed tomb
Ordinance concealed in Mary's womb
Golgotha's symbol reveal anew
Christ alive my hope renew

Christmas is a time to see
What the manger came to be

-Finney Premkumar
(Published in The Sentinel, Copyright 2009)

Christmas Message

When the Angelic announcement was made (Luke 1:26-33) that she was going to be with child, Mary responded with a most reasonable question, "How can this be, for I am still a virgin." It was not a question invoked by a disposition partial to doubt, but came as a very natural response to a peculiarly unnatural proclamation. Mary knew, just as we know, that in order for her to conceive a child there had to be certain natural processes in place. Devoid of the necessary pre-existing conditions that would validate and appropriate the words of the messenger she was prompted to articulate her concern, "How can this can this come to pass in MY LIFE?" It's equally interesting to note that the Angel did not ask Mary to think harder or longer in order to grasp the content of the delivered message. The Angel simply concluded with these immortal words "Nothing is impossible with God."

The implications of the Angel's parting eloquence could conceivably take volumes and great theological acumen to justifiably explicate. Perhaps extensive dissertations have already been published with many more waiting to be written by people with richer and deeper experiences than I. However, my personal fancy indulges me to contemplate the five words(of the Angel) that gave Mary confidence enough to say "May it be unto me.....".  How did a reasonable person who asked a most reasonable question secure the audacity to accept such a preposterous declaration?  When did common sense end its conclusive remarks and how did faith capitalize on its rightful territory? I believe it happened when Mary finally realized the intrinsic truth of the proclamation.  In the deepest recesses of her heart, the chamber of divine revelations, she heard the Angel saying, " Mary, as long as you live within a paradigm in which you are the frame of reference, what I have decreed will not only seem improbable but quite impossible. Is it any wonder that you are perplexed and unsettled? Let me banish your fear and trembling by introducing something novel into your simple life and limited experience. When there is a paradigm shift and God becomes the frame of reference, He will redefine what is possible and impossible in your life, and in the economy of God the possibilities always outweigh the impossibilities, for in Him, by Him, through Him and because of Him all things become possible for you. Furthermore, He does not require any pre-existing conditions or natural processes to be in place to manifest His promise, for you see, He specializes in creating something out of nothing!"  The Maker of heaven and earth, the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal Now is able to accomplish all that concerns you.