I met my friend from youth for the first time in years. This person, a little older than me is someone whose husband passed away unexpectedly when their children were still young. She then took over the judicial scrivener’s office that her husband had started, raised her children, and lived together with her mother-in-law. While I was watching her gentle smile, I wondered how much joy she had experienced on top of much sorrow and suffering.
Living in a society where cruel words of self-responsibility fly around and inequality of wealth and unjust suppression have become more serious, Christmas is once again on its way. The birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is a great gospel to all. Who can deliver the light of Christmas to those with deep sorrow? There is a great paradox lying there. You tried to comfort the other, but you were the one comforted. You tried to help the other, but you were the one helped on the contrary. Haven’t you had these kinds of experiences?
Jesus is calling to us to break away from any obsessions with immediate interests or seeking our own glory, and to live in greater joy. The light of Christmas might come through to us by our trying to follow Jesus’ way of life where he showed us true nature of God’s love, “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Christmas is a time of joy, hope, and appreciation. God came as human to a place where people were living in darkness. He himself became poor, lived a life of love and joy, and saw his ultimate death on the cross. God resurrected this Son, Jesus Christ, and placed him at the right hand in heaven. We trust him as our Lord and hope to follow him even if we may wander from time to time.
Revd Isaac Yukio Ito
Naoetsu St. Sophia’s Church, Takada Advent Church, Iiyama Resurrection