What is happening today is not merely a recollection of a past event, rather it is making PRESENT the Past so that the past can be effective in the present.
The Hebrew noun “zikkaron” carries this meaning. It is an act that brings the blessings and favours of the past into the present (hic and nunc) thereby making those recalling it bearers and heirs of an event they never witnessed.
The Holy Bible is replete of instances were these occurred. When God asked His people to keep in memory events and His words, He was assuring posterity of the same blessings our forebears had inherited. For instance, after the crossing of the Jordan, Joshua and the people set up 12 stones in honour of God as a “memorial” – Josh 4:3;7. (to acknowledge what God had done similar to the crossing of the Sea of Reeds).
Again, the breastplate of the High priest was a constant memorial – Exo 28:12 ( so that Aaron could bear their names as a reminder before the LORD).
However, it was the MEMORIAL recorded in Luke 22:19-22 which will evoke and also illuminate all the past events. This, event however was preceded by another great act (the two though inseparable) of God who became a “Native” in his own world (NATIVITY). He who prior to this didn’t live in “time” honoured humanity by coming to dwell in our time. The world witnessed what had never happened before- the HYPOSTATIC UNION – (divinity marrying humanity without taint)
He’s here with us. HE has come to give us HIS divinity in exchange for our humanity. This is what we celebrate – The birth of Christ!! God has humbled Himself but can the same be said of humans?
1. Remember what the Lord has done.
2. Keep in mind what HE can do.
In I Tim 3:16 St Paul reminded the young man Timothy to keep in memento the “greatness of mystery of our religion” vis “God was manifested in the flesh…”
This year’s remembrance should leave an indelible imprint on our souls and minds.
May the darkness that seems to haunt many of us be shattered by this UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT who comes to illumine those that accept and make ready their homes.
CHRISTMAS recalls the birth of the Lord where Easter celebrates His Death and Resurrection. One of the weak arguments used against the celebration of these great feasts is that the words Christmas and Easter are not explicitly found in the Bible and that nowhere did Jesus instruct people to celebrate. Funny enough, proponents of these loose arguments have groups and bodies (they mistakenly) call churches but they aren’t) which can’t be found in the bible either.
The question they must ask and ponder is :
Was Jesus born? Did he die? Answers to these important faith questions will either betray or affirm one’s position as a Christian or an anti-Christian (one the heretic groups which has metamorphosed into a group to cause disaffection among the saints of God as happened in Philippian and Galatian communities – Phil 1:12-18, Gal 1:6-9.
St Paul again reminds Timothy and I think all Christians too ‘…undeniably great is the mystery of our worship, HE was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory’ – I Tim 3:16.
Let’s take a quick look at these:
He was manifested in the flesh…what does this mean? Manifestation in the flesh here is another way of expressing the birth of Christ (Christmas). That is God who came to take on human body cf. John 1:1,14.
Whereas ‘…vindicated in the Spirit refers to Jesus resurrection (Easter) cf. Rom 6:4.
Then he quickly added in I Tim 4:1 ‘now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions…’
What can be demonic than refusal to accept the birth and death of Christ which are the TWO great acts that freed us from demons and oppression?
The choice is yours…to celebrate or not to celebrate.
By Rev. Fr. Louis Cecilia Adu-Poku