Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It’s been 23 years since I’ve moved to Canada from the Philippines.  I remember that the first thing I looked for was a Filipino community paper so I can read some news about the community being new in Calgary.  I never found any Filipino community paper back in 1996. From them on I told myself that [...]

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Page added on December 26, 2011

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by Pastor Nilo Briones (Jesus Word of Life Church)

Isaiah, a great prophet of old, had proclaimed (700 years before the birth of Jesus) that, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel — which means, ‘God with us.’”  This title speaks of Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost coupled with his divine nature being God, who  left the portals of heaven and became human dwelling with his creation to show us the way to the Father.  Although we are sinners, our salvation was made possible by God’s love through the sacrifice of Jesus being made as a sin offering (instead of us being condemned to eternal damnation) so that we may be justified (mapawalang-sala) and become righteous through our faith in Christ alone.  What a gracious gift and an awesome biblical truth to cherish in our hearts as we celebrate Christmas!

What does Christmas mean to us?   Does it signify a serene yet colorful image of a lowly Bethlehem manger depicting the biblical characters, or a star guiding the magi, or carols sung in chorus, or (excitingly said)  gifts giving to the merriment of our hearts?!!  Let’s take a quick look at the Scripture (in Philippians 2:6-11) which states of his coming as:

“6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something   to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,  he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death—  even death on a cross!  9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place    and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Can we see here the real essence of Christmas – is it really giving or giving up?  I personally think it connotes both meanings being carried through the passage. Let’s observe the foregoing verses and see that Jesus has given up his divine right and took the form of a human servant to show us how to become a ‘true’ human being (in the image of holiness and righteousness of God) and how to have a perfect relationship with God through his  example of obedience to the Father.  By being humble, he has given up his divine right which made possible his ‘voluntary’ death on the cross upon the Calvary in order that those who believe in him will not perish and have everlasting life – a wonderful gift given so lovingly that we can never repay of.  No words of thanks or gesture of goodwill is tantamount to his giving and giving up.  Indeed no expression of love can equal the love that he has given freely to the world.  All we need is to believe and receive it by faith.  Let us then have a moment of reflection – as Christmas may be another milestone in your life, are you ready to be generous to the poor and less fortunate, or are you ready to love the unlovable and undeserving by forgiving them and praying for reconciliation?   Or better still, are we  ready to give up bad habits, ill behaviors, or the sinful self to God (if we have not surrendered to Him) and acknowledged Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.  It’s heartwarming and reassuring to  remember the biblical truth that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life – no one comes to the Father except through him” (John 14:6).  If you have him in your heart, then truly indeed,….

you have a Merry Christmas!


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