I do not think I had since I came to a man’s estate ever held Christmas as any day special from other days. It was thus through the period while I had unchurched myself or while I was part of it. Of course it has nothing to do with my belief or lack of it. I feel His presence too well, and it is an every day thing, to think of giving only one day for such things that are so vital to my conscious life.
On the day of Christmas I attended the service and the passage chosen for reading made me reexamine the relevance of Christmas.
Christmas celebrates the advent of Christ: Relevance of the event is that it was a sign. Its origin? Isaiah 7 has an interesting passage where the prophet says,‘ The Lord himself shall give you a sign;…’ The sign originated from the mind of God, having no space or time constraints. Considering the prophet lived some six centuries before the actual event it does not lose its importance. I shall give the immediate context to which the passage refers to in the section 3.
The second part of the verse reads as follows, ‘…Behold a virgin shall …bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel’.(vs.14) Immanuel means ‘God amongst us. Whether we subscribe to God as Truth in a secular vocabulary or as ‘Father in heaven’ as the Lord prayer teaches us, the fact is inescapable. Our world and Cosmos is shot through with His knowledge and in the heart of which he remains as the Lord redeemer. Whether in our physical bodies, or redeemed from the corruptible nature of mortality, Immanuel is exactly what the term means. He is among us, among the skeptics and believers alike.
In short life and death may be two states of being and non-being(as believing or disbelieving are), our relationship to God remains unchanged. In this context consider the Pauline verse ‘that he might fill all things.’Eph 4:10. Neither heaven nor hell shall keep the meaning of Immanuel any less relevant.
Prophet Isaiah lived at a turbulent period in the history of Judah. King Ahaz was a wicked king who worshiped idols and did things hateful to God. Even as Syria and Israel conspired together to destroy Judah the king didn’t call upon God. It was under such a circumstance God chose to send His message though his prophet. King Ahaz is typical of modern man who doesn’t care to think God has any role to play in his life. He shall be God, the absolute whether you like it or not. Immanuel for me goes beyond any particular day. It is an everyday thing and I feel that proper office of man is to give a good account of himself as best as he can, even under the most trying times.