I can feel it all around me. I can hear the melody of the wind-bell blowing and chiming Christmas-Christmas-Christmas. The shopping malls are overcrowded as a result of massive Christmas shopping. Some are really shopping, while some are window-shopping. I guess those are the things that raise the tempo of excitements about Christmas, and without them the shopping malls will not be cynosures anymore, especially at this time of the season. Traffics are congested and roads are clogged. Both add to the excitements too! The decorations in all nooks and crannies tell the whole stories about what is going to happen in a couple of days. They look really Christmassy.
Today’s gospel reading pointed to the excitements about Christmas with the story of the visitation. We read the message at Luke 1:39-45. We saw how excited Elizabeth was when she heard Mary’s greetings. Even the baby (Jesus) leaped in her womb in excitement. That was a depiction of spiritual attitudes we should emulate in this season; attitude of faith and humility. We saw that faith portrayed by Mary (I guess that was why she was chosen to be the mother of God to start with) in Elizabeth’s words: ‘blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished’ and we saw the attitude of humility portrayed by Elizabeth with all sense of sincerity when she heard Mary’s greetings. Elizabeth’s heart was filled with Holy Spirit, and in a loud cry, said ‘but why am I so favoured that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’
In this excitement I engaged in a conversation with an old man I always sit beside in the church. I asked him what he found most exciting about this period that is fast coming- Christmas. He told me it was about his childhood memories which the period of Christmas always brings to life. He told me a brief story of how he enjoyed on every Christmas day as a kid and continued to enjoy even as an old man his favourite TV programmes- Z Cars. I could see the excitements all over his face as he told the story. I couldn’t help it, but to submerge my mind into the surrealism of a TV series that were set in a made-up town somewhere around Liverpool was the readily available option.
As our journey towards the Christmas comes to an end, we have no option other than to live Christmas with faith and humility, as Mary and Elizabeth had shown us. There is actually no valid point in concealing the happiness and gratefulness that comes with the attitude of faith and humility. Mary and Elizabeth believed God’s words without questioning them. Was not that a great risk? Mary’s faith made her become the mother of God, while Elizabeth’s humility made her recognize the honour of being paid a visit by someone she revered so high. However, this should be a clear indication to us that the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day is a sign of God’s visit as well as his coming to stay with us. Thus we should recognize his presence, but we can only take notice of his presence through the eyes of others. This period is essentially the time to show others that we have recognized God’s presence and we celebrate his coming. There is always opportunity available for us to share our joys and assist the needy.