The National, Monday December 21st, 2015
CHRISTMAS Day is four days away and this will be a hectic week for many people, especially in Port Moresby, Lae and other major urban centres as they finalise their Christmas shopping and prepare for the celebrations.
For other people, Christmas is a time of sorrow.
They do not have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends.
Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons.
Therefore, we ask this very pertinent question: What is the real meaning of Christmas?
For whatever reasons that Christmas means to people, Christians believe its true meaning is love.
This is the Christian perspective of this holy and joyous season, which culminates on December 25.
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3: 16-17).
Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world.
Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event.
They knew this was no ordinary baby.
The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before.
The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Why did He come?
Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and harsh world?
God sent His son so that one day Jesus would grow up to become a very important part of history.
The story of Christ is one of truth, love, and hope.
It brought salvation to all of his people.
Christians believe that without Jesus, they will all die in their sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things his people have done that are wrong.
Christians believe that they are all born with a sin nature.
They do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, they have all inherited that sin nature.
They need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus who came into the world so He could die on the cross for all of their sins.
Christians believe that because Jesus died on the cross for their sins, they can ask Him for forgiveness that makes them clean and wholesome again.
Moreover, Christians believe that Heaven is a place where they can go to when their lives on earth are
As 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”
Christians believe they are truly happy at Christmas and no matter what may be happening they know that they are God’s children and their eternal home is Heaven.
The birth of Jesus marked the turning point in God’s relationship with His people and His death on the cross saved the world from eternal condemnation.
Papua New Guinea is a Christian country with the bulk of its population being members of the mainline Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal churches and the streamline denominations.
While many of our citizens are faithful followers, there are many others who are so-called non-practising Christians.
Still, there are others who are members of other religions such as Islam and there are few atheists.
This may well be the time for non-practising Christians to look at Christmas in a new way.
As one preacher said: “This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a Merry Christmas.
“The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.”
Indeed, a good Christmas message for those Christians who have not attended church worship for a while and who need spiritual healing.
As Christians say at Christmas time, “Jesus is the reason for the season. Rejoice!”