New season, new reason to write...
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 NIV
a very generic bible verse..
it's as if every person who knows something about Christianity or Jesus Christ knows about this verse as well..
but for me, this pretty much sums up everything that's happening in this world right now, especially the real reason why we're celebrating a very lively, colorful, and merry time of the year: Christmas.
So a friend of mine asked me to do a blog entry about Christmas for our church blog site. I thought, hey why not? It would be like hitting two birds with one stone, I put up an entry in two blog sites ( mine and the church's) in one sitting. That's a reasonable deal for me :P
So here goes...
I remember last year, in my blog site, I did a 3-part Christmas themed blog. I entitled it This Christmas: part x (where x is a number from 1 to 3) followed by a specific random topic I was able to relate to Christmas. I talked about missing my family, about having someone special, and about my decision to stop attending school for a while.
But looking back, and going about reading them once more, I found the second topic the most meaningful, and most relevant for me this year: LOVE.
In that entry, I talked about having a so-called "love life", or the lack thereof, being a big deal for Filipinos during the Christmas season. I stated my case, saying how it is not the real essence of the season, and then went to the best part of the blog entry.
"Yes, it would really be cool if we could be together with our special someone this holiday season, but more important than this, we would really love if we could all cherish the true meaning of the season: CHRIST'S COMING FOR OUR SALVATION, and to remind each other that this love exists, something far more greater than anything we could ever feel for somebody." - This Christmas...Part 2, This Sounds Interesting
So in this blog, I would like to explore this topic I started last year, and dig deep into this "reason for the season" I am talking about..
I mean seriously.
The word itself has Christ in it.
Yet when you ask some people what Christmas is for them, very seldom will you hear Christ as the answer.
Don't get me wrong, there is no right or wrong answer to that question. Some people actually answer very nice things, like it's the season for giving, it's the most wonderful time of the year, and things like that, but oftentimes these answers are nothing but cliches.
What's not cliche, though is the reason why it is the season for giving, why it is the most wonderful time of the year.
If you'd scroll up a few lines, please, you would stumble upon me talking about a verse, John 3:16. And when you read the verse, it contains very commonly used, but at the same time heavy words such as "loved", "gave", "believes", and the phrase "shall not perish but have eternal life". Basically, the whole verse. :P
I said this pretty much sums up Christmas for me, and here's why.
First, hopefully after the longest time, I would have a girlfriend this Christmas. Here's where the "love" part comes in. Honestly, me and my girlfriend are in a very delicate situation right now, this is a very critical stage for our relationship. Something involving her relatives not being approving of our relationship, something like that. These things often gives me the urge to just sit around all day, be negative and give in to the temptation of being sad and depressed. But come to think of it, it's already Dec. 1, Christmas is literally just around the corner nowadays. And looking at the first part of John 3:16, someone out there is giving me love even greater than the approval of my girlfriend's relatives. It gives me the assurance that this God, power unmatched and unlimited, loved me. And He didn't just loved me, He "so loved" me. That's even better right? So why should I, or anyone in that matter, have any reason to sulk or down themselves this Christmas when we know that there is someone out there giving us love whole-heartedly and never-ending. It may be a rough time for me in terms of one relationship, but there's another one I am winning blindfolded, hand and feet tied up. And I believe that the love I am receiving from Him will eventually overflow to the other relationship I have with her :)
Then, there's the "give" part.
Again, I have decided to stop attending school, this time with a different reason. If you would recall, last time it was because of the lack of passion for learning, this time it's the lack of resources for my studies, and that of my sister's. We're both currently in college and we spend a combined P40,000 on tuition. Problem is, my mom's salary: P25,000. What should we do about the needed 15k? My simple answer: give way. That's right, this semester, my sister is going to school and I'm not. I know she needs the education more than I do. Not to down her or anything, but I think she needs to finish college more than I do. She's a bit of a spoiled brat type when she was younger, so she doesn't know how things really work sometimes. But still, she's my sister. I love her. Who else would love her? We're a broken family. Literally speaking, I'm all she's got right now. So yeah, I gave her the chance. Now I have decided to just try my luck out with any job offers, and eventually I got one at a call center agency. Hopefully this will all be for the best, after all God already gave up His one and only Son, what else could go wrong? what's another 2-3 years of school delay for me right? :P
And finally, "believe".
Stillwaters. My spiritual family. My community of believers. But honestly, I feel detached from them at the moment. It's really an awkward feeling right now typing these very words knowing this could be a blog entry for the Stillwaters blog site. But isn't that's how God's love works? We always say of speaking the truth in love, and that this is a safe place where no one gets judged. But we all make mistakes right? Though we may be centered by a perfect God, we're still living in this imperfect world. We still hurt each other, judge each other, and there are still some issues left unresolved here and there which affects our relationships to each other. Maybe that's why I feel detached. Add the fact that I am not in UP anymore. But I "believe" that these things are very trivial. These hurts are nothing now, because we are in Christ. As the verse says in the end, "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Yes, we can never disregard these hurts, these small tampos from time to time, but if you know your English very well, you'll get what "shall not perish" means. Perishing is permanent, once a vegetable or a piece of meat is perished, it never goes good again, right? But we are believers of Christ. In Him, we are a new creation. In fact I believe we are always renewed in Him. Every time we sin, we hurt, we cry, we suffer, He renews us with His Spirit. And I believe--no--I know for a fact that it's not how close or detached we are, it's Who we believe in that matters. Because in the end, we will all bow our knees and confess Him as our God, together in unison, and that would be as close as we can get as brothers and sisters in Christ.
And THAT for me is why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. That is why it is the season for loving, and giving, and believing. Because we have Christ now, He who loved us first, He who has given us His life first, and He who has believed in us, and would never cease on believing us, waiting until the time that all the Earth will hear Him, proclaim Him, and celebrate Christmas with Him 365 days a year :)
God bless everyone :)