December 25th marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, now proclaimed as the Christian messiah. After an adjustment to the time frame in which Jesus lived, the proper name, 'Jesus Christ' is a mark of an inconceivable feat reflecting the historical Christian growth over the last two millenia. Began as a small movement of adherents of a sect of Judaism, the apostles of Jesus have left a legacy in their perpetual attempt to reconcile the great chasm separating Jesus and Christ.
As citizens belonging to a country founded upon Christian values and constructed by English reformers in the heart of protestantism; the conception of suffering and tragedy of Christ is strange, if not alien.
The church-and-state separation issues have spearheaded ongoing topics of debate recently and the United States is struggling to balance its identity as a nation and acceptance for diversity as a community. Institutionalization of religion is becoming a prevalent solution across country and the supreme court justices seem to agree.
What shall be our reaction to such a movement?
Fundamental, evangelical, conservative or liberal, Christians must unanimously agree on a rudimentary requirement of belonging to a group: identity. 'Christians', the term was first coined in Antioch, a major mission center established by apostle Paul - Acts 11:26, NIV "and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." - Christians represented the growing believers of Christ. Therefore understanding the Christhood of Jesus is the common thread that bind the diverse and popular communities of Christians around the globe.
The four books of gospel; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reverberate the voice of first apostles striving to proclaim that Jesus is the messiah who had came to save mankind. We are able to better appreciate the effort of the disciples by first breaking the granted presupposition of deity of Jesus and seeing that to the orthodox Jews during the apostolic era, Jesus of Nazareth was a subject of a cultish movement and the adversity of his presence concluded with a crucifixion.
The cross has now been commercialized, exploited for aesthetic purposes in the fashion industry and the worst of all, obscured by a proclivity of the public to savor the glory of Christ and the relevant adorned events and gatherings that entail the celebration of Jesus's birth.
Jesus has become the most renown figure in the history and have reached the countless hearts of man posthumously; however the irrevocable salvation he gave us was indeed accomplished during his life of atonement. Christians worship Jesus, the very incarnate of truth who revealed and rendered concrete the love of God. So then it is necessary for us to shift our focus from glittering holiday celebrations to the cross of self-abnegation Jesus carried to his ascension.
In the days of Noah, people were attracted to Nephilims - Genesis 6:4, "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. " The gospel promotes humility and meekness; we must scrutinize our true values of reverence and impose an unparalleled circumspection to thwart any harbinger of history of judgement.
After crucifixion, Jesus defeated death and was resurrected. His resurrection is the core of the gospel and it is the quintessential source of hope for eternal life. Nevertheless, the atonement of Christ came to man as a living sacrifice and we will spend this year's Christmas in celebration of his solemn victory, giving the Lord our gratitude without rest.