Written By Crystal Tang, Singapore
Many miles from where I am and some thousands of years ago, lay a peaceful looking infant in a manger lined with hay. Barely moments after his birth, angels from above presented their repertoire of praise, and lowly shepherds came and bowed before this blessed child.
It was a humble birth, with no pomp and pageantry fit for a king. The infant grew, matured and tolerated harsh treatment from people. He was hauled in one day and tortured on the cross. The sight was so distressing the women mourned and lamented. To top it off, He was given no crown of jewels, but a crown of scalp-tearing thorns. He was hated, spat at, and lived only thirty-three years on earth.
So what was his crime? Nothing. His role was to come to earth to die for the sins of the world. He uttered three words before hanging his head: “It is finished.”
A familiar story we know, yet when retold, never fails to move people to tears. Year after year, season after season, His story is reenacted in all ways, whether through a song, musical or mime. Indeed, Christ’s birth represents the ultimate act of redemption for all of us sinners and is the perfect depiction of what love is all about. Love is not all romantic, sweet and nice. The story of Jesus proves otherwise and the Bible makes known what true love is:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
—1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (ESV)
But the greatest act of love is to sacrifice our lives for others (John 15:13) just as Jesus did for us on Calvary. Ultimately, I would sum up the Christmas story this way: