For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
The bells are ringing; the carols associated with Advent are being played on the radio, in homes, and in places of entertainment as well as in department stores. The lights and decorations are already in place. By now most have completed their traditional Christmas shopping.
Many centuries ago, before the first Advent of Christ, it seemed like there were expectations which were evident as the world then looked forward to something new, something exciting, something supernatural which would make for a better future in the world.
Today we long for a time of peace, brotherhood, and mutual respect for one another. There is the lack of respect for human life. The sanctity of life is no longer an ideal to appreciate, embrace or safeguard for some. There are those who engage in barbaric and inhumane beheadings of other human beings for all to see, with no feelings of remorse or accountability for those lives taken. There are mass executions of sometimes innocent human beings, bombings, explosions, etc., which continue to shake the very foundations, existence and future of not only those labeled as terrorists, but also those who endeavor to escape from these areas being bombarded.
The earth it seems is full of violence, not unlike the days of Noah (Genesis 6). In this country we have heard or seen in sometimes graphic videos people being killed before our very eyes. The murder of 20 innocent children and six educators in Newtown Connecticut is still fresh in our minds and is a stark reminder of the need to eradicate from the possessions of private citizens, the kinds of assault weapons used by the perpetrators of such tragedies.
Despite these travails and tribulations, there is, like the time preceding the first Advent, a certain air of expectancy: the atmosphere is pregnant with hope and heaven is about to deliver the blessing that good news is here upon us again. The sounds and feelings of joy are evident that yes, once again we are in the Advent Season and the celebration of the birth of Christ at is imminent.
May this Christmas be one of immense joy, peace, kindness, and goodwill to us all, and may the Christ of Christmas rule and reign in all our hearts. Let us demonstrate Christlikeness in all aspects of our lives and put Christ in Christmas, so fulfilling the real Reason for the Season.
God bless you during this Season. Have a happy, holy, Christ-centered Christmas, a happy Kwanzaa, and a prosperous, peaceful, progressive, and positively blessed 2015.
Edward L. Jenkins, Sr. (M.Div. ‘12) is pastor at Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.