Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear readers, The summer is going fast as everyone is having fun especially that we just wrapped up the festivities of the 10 days Calgary Stampede.  The weather cooperated in a way where it showered  during the parade but it all went well. I’m sure that the organizers of Calgary Stampede were all happy with an [...]

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Page added on December 26, 2018

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By Pastor Nilo Briones, BALM

As the classic song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  The frenzy mix of planning joyful celebrations and reunions among friends and families is a common yet exciting scenario. But if we try to dig deeper spiritual truths, we will truly appreciate the essence of Christmas more than we savor exotic foods and enjoy  music, gift wrapping, sharing bushels of fun and merry-making as we jingle all the way.

The colossal truth heralded that Jesus is the reason for this advent season, as historically evidenced 2,000 years ago with a prophetic sign that “you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger”(Luke 2:12). The Lord, King of all kings, had left the portals of heaven and took the form of a human servant to show us all that the way to heaven and eternal bliss is through humility. There can never be more humbling than this immutable truth. The way to greatness in the sight of God is being spiritually humble, and that apart from Him we are nothing.  If at this point, you may feel insignificant and hopeless, remember that for every soul who acknowledges the Lord, there is much rejoicing in heaven.  So cheer up and be glad if you have put your faith in the Lord and trust His Word.

Another humbling truth was the good news  that Jesus’ birth was angelically proclaimed to shepherds, a lowly occupation at that time.  Luke 2:8 stays,  “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” This great revelation was first addressed to these poor creatures, thus giving us comfort that it is not material wealth that matters but a humble spirit.  It is a blessing to be graciously given honest-to goodness riches so long as we use them to serve others and to give honor to the true Giver.  Moreover, let’s honor the couple Joseph and Mary, the chosen ones who set aside their personal plans and gave way to fulfill God’s design of salvation for mankind.  With fear succumbed to faith, their sensitivity to hear God’s will speaks volumes about their humility before our Creator.

So we’re all set to celebrate then, but wait lest we forget the terror made by the ancient king Herod who, after being tricked by the visiting wise men, furiously ordered the execution  of all the boys in Bethlehem who were two years old or under (Matthew 2:16).  That is just way too much to bear!  Just imagine the wailing and lamentations from pitiful scenes that was biblically written for us to ponder.  Are you shrouded with pain and sorrow in life for whatever reasons?  Remember how much trouble was encountered by the people that surround the nativity, especially Joseph and Mary.  But God, merciful and omnipotent, safely rescued them from the wrath of the evil king.  This is not a fantasy story, but a monumental truth that is meant to highlight the significance of Christmas — God had spared His Son Jesus who came to “save us sinners,” for no one is righteous not even one.  If sin is universal, we all need to repent and ask forgiveness from God.  Most important of all, we need to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.  Eventually, we can essentially appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.  Let’s make this difference in our lives as we celebrate this joyous event of the year.

Finally, as I was shopping at this time of the year, I gazed at a pharmacist sign that made me chuckled.  It says, “As the days are getting shorter and colder, some people suffer SAD (Severe Affectivity Depression).  I don’t know about how some would look at this momentous event.  At all cost, let’s celebrate and allow no hassle and bustle to sidetrack us.  Instead, let’s join in chorus and jingle all the way in singing the beautiful line of the yuletide song that says, “although it’s been said many times, many ways —  Merry Christmas to you!”

Pastor Nilo welcomes prayer requests and offers counselling services.  He is currently pastoring at Jesus Word of Life International congregated from 6:30 to 8:00 pm followed by dinner fellowship every Saturday at 3003 – 28th St. SE, Emmanuel Community Church building.


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