BEST GIFT EVER FOR OURSELVES FOR CHRISTMAS 2009: With just three days to go before Christmas 2009, what is going to be the best gift that we can give ourselves so we are assured of God’s love, blessings and protection in the years to come?
If we are to follow the advice of the Bible, the best gift is not money and riches or any other material gift, or fame, or even good health.
It is going to be obedience with what 2 Chronicles 7:14 says and advices to those who would want to enjoy a better life. Let us read what this part of the Bible says.
It says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then, I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
BIRTH OF JESUS IN THE MANGER: Easily one of the most fondly-remembered events in the Bible is now immortalized as the third Joyful Mystery in the Roman Catholic Christians’ Holy Rosary, and this is the birth of Jesus Christ.
Mainly because the event augurs good tidings and happy cheers as it ushers in gift-giving and camaraderie among believers worldwide, the birth of Jesus Christ has become one of the cornerstones of the Catholic Christians’ faith as it heralds the great love of God for man.
But completely different from this happy scenario is the account of the birth of Christ that is found in Luke 2:1 to 20, and in Matthew 1:18 to 25 of the Bible, both of which paint a very humble yet solemn and dignified occasion, befitting the Son of God.
This story starts with a census participated in by Joseph, the man who was pledged to marry Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ. During the census, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The birth of Jesus was announced by an angel of the Lord to the shepherds who were watching their flocks at night. The angel said that the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, had been born. Just then, a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
The shepherds then left their flocks, looked for the baby wrapped in clothes in a manger and, when they found him, started telling everyone about him, glorifying and praising God
PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS AT THE TEMPLE: The fourth Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, as prayed by devout Roman Catholic Christians worldwide, pertains to the presentation of the Child Jesus at the Temple, a story that is found in Luke 2:21 to 40 of the Bible.
At first glance, the account of how Jesus was presented at the Temple seemed to indicate concern merely for the completion of the then existing purification process for males as mandated by the law of Moses, but, when one looks closer, it becomes apparent that this story of the presentation is actually another Biblical confirmation about who Jesus really is and what He is destined to do.
Thus, we can see two individuals, one man (the righteous and devout Simeon) and one woman (the prophetess Anna, then 84 years of age), prophesying about Jesus as Someone who will cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and as Someone who will redeem God’s people.
Simeon in particular confirmed that he had received a revelation that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When Simeon saw Jesus, the Holy Spirit came over him, and he said he was ready to die in peace, since he already saw the Lord.
Anna on the other hand who was widowed after being married for only seven years, spent the rest of her life, until she was 84 years old, worshipping, fasting and praying at the temple. When she saw Jesus, she spoke about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.