Rev: Zaker ALi Shuva: Merry Christmas means Happy Birthday to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born in a poor wooden barn in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Every day people are small, poor, lonely but on the day of festival people are big, on that day they are big together with all people, on that day they are great feeling the power of all humanity. Every year since 325 AD, Christians around the world have been celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th.
The resurrection of Christ is the most important spiritual significance, and since the beginning of the church, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or Easter, has been celebrated as the greatest. Nowadays, however, Christmas is celebrated with more pomp and ceremony. Jesus Christ is believed by Christians to be God’s promised Savior or Redeemer to mankind. So celebrating this day is important to them.
The four-week preparation period before Christmas is called Holy Advent. At this time the three coming of Christ is remembered: 1. The birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, in the continuity of history, 2. His arrival in our lives every day and in contemporary history 3. His glorious reappearance on the last day of the world.
Advent is one of the major preparations for the Christian year of worship. This preparation is basically spiritual, and the key is to change the mind. At the time of his arrival, he was called upon to accept the Savior in the midst of personal life, family, society and the creation of the world with deep hope in his heart. This arrival is celebrated in remembrance of the preparations made by mankind for ages in anticipation of his birth.
The sin of disobeying God’s command has ruined man’s relationship with one another; People have become alienated from each other as a result of turning away from God. As a result, his own inner environment has become polluted. This is manifesting itself everywhere: the hatred, conflict, discord, factionalism, quarrels, fights, quarrels, wars, etc., which are going on among the people, is the proof of this. The whole world is in turmoil. People today are desperate to get rid of this situation. People want peace; The deepest desire of his heart is peace. But the preconditions for this peace are justice, the establishment of fundamental human rights, forgiveness, healing broken relationships through giving and taking, reconciliation and establishing harmony. That is why the proponents and sages of the ages have called the future savior the King of Peace and have raised the hopes of accepting him in the minds of the people.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied about 740 years before the birth of Jesus Christ: “6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)KJV. The prophet Isaiah added: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) KJV. Christians believe in the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus Christ. Before Jesus was born, the archangel Gabriel appeared to Maria and said, “30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” (Luke 1:30-32) KJV.
After the revelation of Jesus, the angel appeared to the shepherds and said,” 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12) KJV. Christmas is celebrated centering on this realization of the divine promise in Jesus. The aim and purpose of celebrating Christmas is to understand the underlying meaning and significance of the dramatic narration of events in symbolic language. The following are some of the topics that Christians meditate on during the Christmas festivities:
1) Jesus is the third person, the second person of God, born as a human being to free sinful mankind from the bondage of sin. That is why he is called the Messiah or Savior. “32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:”(Luke 1:32) KJV and teaches those who believe in him to do the same. With a childlike attitude to the Lord’s Prayer, known as the best prayer of Christians, Jesus, inspired by his spiritual motivation, taught us to call God the Father, so that a sense of brotherhood might be born in all members of the human family.
2) “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) KJV. “4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”(Matthew 4:4) KJV. The late Pope John Paul II said in a public letter that the reason why human family members do not follow this message is that people are now developing a culture of death or a civilization of death instead of life. Violence, terrorism, bombings, weapons making and trade in the world today are examples of that destructive culture.
3) 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) KJV. Whatever is honest or good is the only source of God. And only truth can liberate people. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.(John 8:31-32) KJV. Injustice and untruth that exist in today’s society can only be eradicated by truth. It is true that people can be deceived by cunning, deceit, and rhetoric, but there is no alternative to following the truth in order to establish true welfare.
4) Jesus is life, 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) KJV. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) KJV. Life here does not refer to any biological entity, but to human humanity and spiritual or spiritual life, by virtue of which man is distinct from other animals or creatures. The source and foundation of this life is God Himself. Jesus said, 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24) KJV.
5) Jesus is Light 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.(John 8:12) KJV. The conflict between sin-virtue, light-darkness and good-evil is undeniable. If you want to conquer the darkness, you have to turn on the light. At present, many people are heard to say that enlightened people are needed to remove the darkness of society.
6) Jesus Christ High Priest. He is the only mediator between God and man. We have found the Absolute High Priest, who has crossed the heavens: Jesus, the Son of God. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15) KJV. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 5:5-6) KJV. He became a priest not by force of any law of bodily birth, but by the power of an immortal life. Since Jesus is eternal, his priesthood is also eternal. And so he has the power to save those who go to God through him, as forever; Because he is always there to appeal to God on their behalf.
7) Jesus love. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17) KJV. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9) KJV. He who does not love does not know God. We can understand how to love God and man by looking at the life and work of Jesus. He gave his life to love people and commanded us to love one another. To us, Jesus’ command is to love everyone, regardless of race, religion, or caste, even the enemy.
8) Jesus rejoices. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10)KJV. The joy of Christmas is fulfilled only when we preach it not only through word of mouth, but also through fellowship. Jesus said, 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:9-11) KJV.
9) Jesus peace. Jesus is God’s promised King of Peace 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) KJV. On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels of heaven sang: 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14) KJV. 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (John 20:19-21) KJV. But there is a difference between the peace that Jesus gave and the peace that man gives. Jesus said, 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) KJV. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22) KJV. The opposite is true of sin. As a result, unrest and anarchy come down in the personal life and society of the people.
If the exchange of peace greetings at Christmas is confined to verbal etiquette, we cannot receive peace and blessings. Many symbols and metaphors have been used to tell the story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels. The meaning of these symbols is explained during the Christmas festivities. For example, the bright star in the sky reveals that Jesus is the light of the world. He is Immanuel or our constant companion God to remove the darkness of the world. The three scholars of the East mean the Gentiles. That is, Jesus is not just the savior of one nation or group, he is the savior of all people. Throughout the world, the form of Christmas celebrations differs in terms of cultural and ethnic differences. The look of Christmas festivities varies from country to country.
In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought Christianity to undivided Bengal. The first church in Bangladesh was built in 1599 in the Sundarbans area near Kaliganj in old Jessore. Job Charnock, the founder of Kolkata, was the first to celebrate the day in the subcontinent. On his way to Hijli in 1668, he stopped at the village of Sutanuti to celebrate Christmas. The English celebrated this first Christmas in this region. Nowadays, Christmas festivals like Eid of Muslims and worship of Hindus and Buddhists are not limited to Christians. Non-Christian neighbors and friends were also invited to the Christmas party. Sharing the joy of Christmas with everyone increases the level of joy. Christmas can play an important role in strengthening the bonds of peace and harmony among people of all religions in Bangladesh. I wish peace to all, irrespective of religion and caste.
The Bible is the holy scripture of Christians. The Bible tells us that God created the earth, the heavens, the water, the earth, the day and the night, the light and the air, and the solar system. Later he created animals, reptiles, animals and plants and shrubs and saw that everything he created was very beautiful and good. In the end, in all these enjoyments and protections, he created human beings, men and women, in his own image. The first man he created was named Adam, and later he created the first woman, Eve, with a rib in his chest. He chose them as husband and wife. And God blessed them, and said unto them, Prophesy unto me, and I will shew you all things.
In this way man spread in the world and God wanted the greatest human race he created to be righteous, to live a righteous life and to be righteous, and finally to be partakers of the kingdom of heaven. But man later forgot the Creator and became so engrossed in consumerism with his worldly objects and creatures that he was deprived of entry into the kingdom of heaven. The rich and especially the rich filled the world with sin by oppressing the weak, plundering, torturing women, giving birth illegally and so on.
At that time, Noah, his wife, his three daughters-in-law, and all the members of his family were righteous and righteous. This time God decided to destroy this sinful world and told Noah to build a large ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high, with several chambers and floors. Noah set out to build the ark, as the Lord had commanded, but the people mocked and ridiculed him. It took him many years to build this ship.
And it came to pass, when the ark was finished, that the LORD commanded that every man should take a pair of the beasts, and put them in the ark, and the house of Noah, and the doors of the ark were shut. Immediately the waters overflowed the sea and the river, and it rained incessantly for 40 days and 40 nights. When the earth was destroyed in this way, God repented and promised that he would never again destroy the world by a flood.
Hundreds of years later, enmity, hatred, selfishness, deceit, lies entered the world and the new generation of people. In the same way, the world became full of sins again and everyone started living a wicked life without trusting in God. This time God sent different prophets from age to age to warn and be honest with them; But people didn’t pay much attention to them. In the end, Jehovah God sent his only-begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to free mankind from the bondage of sin. Jesus was a man possessed of both glory and humanity, in which everything except sin was human nature. He gave up his life to save people from sin.
Jesus was born in the womb of Mary, an ordinary virgin. God chose this girl, whose name was Maria. She was a daughter of Nazareth. God sent to him the angel Gabriel, who addressed Maria as blessed and full of blessings. He said that you will give birth to a son who will be the savior and deliverer of man. The girl is very upset that the same will be possible? I am that virgin. The angel said that there is nothing impossible with God, you will conceive under the influence of the Holy Spirit and in due time your child will be born. His name will be Jesus, who will be born to fulfill the divine plan of salvation in this world to save mankind from sin. And she said, I am the LORD’s handmaid;
Maria, meanwhile, was the fiance of a young man named Joseph of Bethlehem, a descendant of David. He was very worried about this, especially the news of Maria’s pregnancy, and decided to leave her. But an angel of God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, do not hesitate to accept your wife Maria.” Because it was God’s will that Maria became pregnant under the influence of the Holy Spirit. At that, Joseph took Maria home, as the angel had told her. Later, as usual on a cold winter’s night, when the Roman emperor decreed that the people of all his kingdoms be counted, they arrived at Bethlehem on the way to deliver Mary. Joseph tries to get a little shelter at the door with Maria but all fails. In the end, he went to a hotel for shelter, but he was not successful there and was forced to take shelter in a cow shed.
There, on that winter night, Jesus was born, and Maria wrapped him in a cloth and laid him in a jar. What a cruel irony of fate! The only begotten Son of God, King Jesus, had to be born in a barn.
At this time a new star appears in the sky. The shepherds guarding the fields first see the star and realize that something new has happened somewhere. They were about to gather when an angel appeared in front of them, and the shepherds were terrified. The angel said to them in awe, ‘I have brought you good news of great joy. The man you have been waiting for so long has been born in Bethlehem today. You see that new star, that star will show you the way and take you there. Come and pay homage to him. ‘
Then the Oriental scholars came to Jerusalem and asked King Herod where the King of the Jews was born. We saw his birth star and came to greet him. King Herod thought, I am the king! Apart from me, a new king was born in this region. Herod tricked them into learning about the birth of the star and the so-called king and showed them the way. Herod also told the scholars that you should take good care of the child and on the way back you should look for him so that I can also bow to him. The scholars saw the baby Jesus and offered him golden incense and myrrh and bowed down to him. At night they received orders in a dream that they should not see King Herod again. Because the cunning Herod must kill the child. So they go the other way. The next day, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to flee to Egypt with the baby Jesus and his mother. Because soon Herod would look for him in the area to kill the baby. In this way, Jesus continues to grow in physical and spiritual knowledge day by day.
Jesus later made twelve of his own people his disciples. During his lifetime, Jesus used his divine power to heal many sick people, and heal the blind, the lame, the deaf, and the dumb. Even gave life to the dead. Finally, a man named Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, was asked to rise from the grave (at the request of his special relatives) and to take off his coffin when he was raised from the grave. Then he made her alive. He also gave his disciples the power to heal. When the news of Lazarus ‘resurrection spread, the Jews, Jesus’ own people, saw that if this man was not killed, our honor and dignity would be in jeopardy. Because now people will flock to him, go to his party. They accused Jesus of various crimes, treason, and false claims of claiming to be the Son of God. Meanwhile, the time has come for a great feast of the Jews. The rule was to release a person sentenced to death on the occasion of that festival. Some of the soldiers and the mob shouted, and the judge consented to the execution of the executed man and the crucifixion of Jesus. The mob executed him in a heinous crucifixion. But surprisingly, Jesus was resurrected three days after his death.
Scholars who study the Holy Bible believe that since the Lord Jesus was born on a great winter’s night (that is, in winter), they have chosen this happy birthday on December 25, which has been celebrated around the world for centuries. In winter the night gets bigger and the day gets shorter. Thus (excluding the continent of Australia) December 23rd is the shortest day in the world and from December 24th the day starts to grow by a few seconds. Therefore, the main festival of Christmas is celebrated on the night of December 24. At least I don’t know if there is a scientific explanation for this. In fact, it is a great gift of God to send the Lord Jesus into the world in the same way that He has given us mercy. So big donations can be considered as Christmas.