Another day of celebrating Christmas is around us. We are preparing for another Christmas during the season of Advent. It is a season of search. Our shepherd Jesus is coming in search of us. Do we recognize his voice? Are we ready to accept him? Or is Christmas another lifeless ritual for us? How can a Christmas without Christ bring us blessings and peace? As John writes, “He came to his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but all who have received him he empowers to become children of God.” (John 1:11-12)
Jesus in search of lost sheep
The story of lost sheep narrated by Jesus brings out the emotions of a loving shepherd. Each and every word describes the deep love of the shepherd towards his sheep. How much joyful he is to get back his lost sheep! This is still the attitude of our Lord in his search for us. He is extremely happy when we listen to his loving call.
The searching ‘Hound of Heaven’
Francis Thompson describes in his masterpiece ‘The Hound of Heaven’ the chasing love of God. “I fled him down the nights and down the days, and the labyrinthine ways of my own mind…” God follows man wherever he goes. He humbles Himself as a servant to serve man and prove His love. The moving words of the poem exhibit the great love of God.
Jesus illustrates the great love of God in search of man through three parables- the story of the prodigal son, the story of the lost sheet and the parable of the lost coin. Each parable describes the unfathomable love of God towards man. His love is more than any human conception on love.
God’s mad love for man
The parable of ‘the prodigal son’ depicts the mad love of God towards man. It is constant. The silly son who was thinking that he was smarter than his ‘father’ came to his senses when his employer sends him, half-starved, to feed pigs. Even when he came back he did not think of the love of his ‘father’ but only was thinking of getting a mean job and filling his stomach. But his ‘father’ was so mad in his love that he came running to embrace the son who was stinking like a pig.
Christmas, a reminder of God’s mad search for man
Christmas is a reminder of the great love of God, Who came down on this earth to live among us, to suffer like us and free us from the fetters of sin. “And the Word was made flesh; he had his tent pitched among us, and we have seen his Glory, the Glory of the only Son coming from the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness.” (John 1:14)
Let this year’s Christmas be an occasion of sharing our love
Christmas, starting with the preparatory period of Advent, is a period of listening to the call of God. It is a call to share God’s love with all. It is a call to come out of the cocoon of selfishness and live a life of sharing.