Today we celebrate the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth, widely considered the greatest man who ever lived. His teachings are arguably the most profound, insightful and challenging the world has ever seen. He has inspired countless universities, hospitals, and ministries to the sick, poor, and oppressed. He has inspired the world’s greatest literature, art, and music, not to mention the greatest theological treatises and much of the greatest philosophy in history. He has also inspired countless followers to make extreme sacrifices, many even literally giving up their lives, in his service. So great is his influence on human history, in fact, that this itinerant teacher became the reference point for the world’s dating system. That’s remarkable stuff for a man who never held a political office, never led an army, never authored any books or even a single essay, nor did he even travel more than a few hundred miles from his hometown.
So how did he manage to so profoundly impact human history? For Christians, of course, the answer is that Jesus wasn’t just the greatest man who ever lived. He was something far more than this.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
AMEN.. Maranatha. I especially appreciate that during church history we have not only celebrated the birth of JC but also the season of Advent which looks for His imminent Return.
Actually, Advent is the season of approach to Christmas, the First Coming of the Lord not, for most people, looking for his return. That should be all the time, a way of life. ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ If you want a particular season then surely it is Ascension Day, when two angels spoke of his Return, ‘in like manner’ or ‘in the same way’.
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree– we should look forward to His return every day! Thanks for saying that. I guess, I am referring to articles such as this website I have listed (http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/advent-i-waiting-for-christ's-return.html). I personally was unaware of this part of Church History for a good portion of my life as my denomination did not practice Advent in the same fashion as many other churches. I have since been so grateful for a richer and fuller understanding of the church calendar, and yet still knowing that there isn’t just “one right way” to celebrate a day! It is a deeply personal, religious and cultural expression of one’s devotion to God.
Ascension Day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_the_Ascension) is the day where Jesus, after being raised from the dead (Easter), ministered among the people for 40 days and then ascended into heaven! It is practiced and celebrated in many different manners depending on the denomination, congregation,western/eastern orthodoxy and cultural preferences. Thanks for the dialogue.