CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - White Gift Service
14 December 2016, 7:00 PM University Church
Dr. Teodoro C. Robles
CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles gives his Christmas Greetings during the White Gift Service.
December na! What comes to mind upon hearing this? It brings up images of decorations, food, gifts and many more. It also means busy shoppers and frantic planning for parties left and right. The month ushers in festivities and celebrations. After all, December is when we celebrate Christmas.
Yet, we seem to be bombarded by challenges left and right. Whether they be personal or professional in nature, these trials can and do weigh us down. Which leads to some asking, “why celebrate Christmas still?”
Oh yes, we still should celebrate Christmas. Christmas is the coming of a kingdom, heralding the arrival of a king – a powerful, life-changing and overwhelming king. A king who would gift us all with the most important gift on earth – our salvation.
It is also for this reason that we should be careful not to get caught in the hustle and bustle of the season lest we forget the real reason for Christmas – Jesus Christ.
Christ should be the center of our Christmas. It is His glorious birth that we celebrate. It is the wonder of His glorious life on earth that we should highlight. We must strive to make His light shine brightest amidst the glitter of the world. His life should not be overshadowed by things that are only temporal.
Christmas, after all, is a time of remembering. We need to remember the great love God has for each and every one of us. It is because of this great love that God spared His only Son so that we might be saved. We also remember the uniqueness of Jesus’ life – His teachings, His miracles, His prophecies, His death and resurrection.
Christmas is also a time of loving and giving. Now is the time to reach out to others with love and concern. We do not need disasters or calamities and harsh reminders to “activate” the spirit of loving and giving. If we truly have the Christ of Christmas in our hearts, then our everyday lives will be channels of blessing to those who are in need emotionally, materially, physically and most importantly, spiritually.
Christmas is also a time of forgiving. If God was willing to forgive us – sinful people in a sinful world – then we have no right not to forgive those who have hurt us or done us wrong. Easier said than done, but when we allow God to live in us and be ruler of our lives, He will give us the strength and power to release forgiveness. In the process, we glorify Him and share a wonderful testimony of God’s love.
Most importantly, let us remember that Christmas is a time of rejoicing. We rejoice in God’s unmerited grace. We rejoice in the release of forgiveness. We rejoice in living a new life with a new mission. We rejoice in His amazing love.
As our Central Philippine University family again remembers this blessed season, it is my prayer that we allow Christ to fill us with His love, joy and peace. Let His love open the door of our hearts and cause us to let go of all the hurts of the past. Let His joy give us the strength to savor our time with loved ones. Let His peace envelope us so we can face the future with hope and assurance.
Most importantly, let us make Him real in our lives this Christmas time. He is Immanuel – God with us. We have the blessed assurance of His constant, loving presence in our daily lives. And for that we truly say, “Glory to God!”
A blessed Christmas and a bountiful New Year to everyone!
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