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Thursday, Feb 20 2020  

CHRISTMAS
 

 

Purpose:
Christmas, which falls on December 25, is the day when Jesus Christ was born. Jesus Christ had led a life filled with love and he propagated the omnipresence of God wherever He went. He was a master of his senses and conquered all desires. He was also one whose thoughts, words and deeds had no trace of ego. Generally, people all around the world celebrate this day by going to the church and singing carols. However, that is not enough. This holy day should be celebrated by adhering to the teachings of Jesus, being loyal to the principles, practicing the discipline and experiencing the awareness of the Divine

Story relating to the festival:
Jesus was born in a stable on 25 December. A star above the stable was shining brightly, and that star led the people to their savior. At first, Jesus considered himself as a "Messenger of God". However, when Jesus grew older, He realized that he was the "son of God". It was only when Jesus was crucified when He declared that He and his Father are One.

Jesus was born for a purpose; He had a mission, a mission of restoring love, charity and compassion. His heart responded to the calls of anguish. As his popularity grew, some of the priests of authority grew envious of him. They started persecuting him and charging him with treason.

Jesus was crucified on the cross on a Friday (now known as Good Friday). He rose from the tomb on Sunday (otherwise known as Easter Sunday today). Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind. He is our savior. On the day of his crucifixion, his closest devotees Peter, Matthew and Paul did not even identify themselves as his disciples since they were afraid of being tortured themselves.

As to how great Jesus was, while He was being nailed to the cross, He heard the voice of the Father saying, "All life is One, My dear son. Be alike to everyone." Although the people were crucifying him, Jesus pleaded for them to be pardoned. Although those people gave so much pain to him, He did not want them to suffer. These are the ideals that Jesus had which we should all learn to follow.

Swami's message on Christmas:
(Swami made a sign of a holy cross to show how it covers heart, hands and head). Swami said to install God in our hearts. Contemplate on Him and undertake good deeds.

"It is said that when Jesus was born in a manger, three kings were led by a star to Jesus' place of birth. In fact, they were not kings but three shepherds. One of them, seeing the infant Jesus observed: 'This child will be lover of God'. A second one said: 'No. God will love him.' The third one said: 'Verily He is God Himself. The true significance of these three statements is: To love God is to be His messenger. To be loved by God is to be a son of God. The final state is to be one with God. As Jesus said: 'I and my Father are one'. Thus, all persons are messengers of God. This means that they should divinize themselves. When can men call themselves 'sons of God'? Recognize what pure actions are done by God, selflessly for the sake of all. There is no trace of self-interest in Him. Everything men do, speak, or think is born out of selfishness. Men can describe themselves as 'Sons of God' only when they are completely free from selfishness and become Godly. To call yourself the 'son of God', you have to manifest the qualities of the Father."
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"Love must be manifested as service. Seva (human service) must take the form of food for the hungry, solace for the forlorn, consolation for the sick and the suffering. Jesus wore Himself out in such Seva."
- Discourse of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 25 Dec 1981

"People talk of Christ's sacrifice as evidenced by his crucifixion. But, He was surrounded and bound, and crowned by the crowd who captured him with the crown of thorns, and later, nailed to the cross by his captors. A person bound and beaten by the police cannot say that He has sacrificed everything, for He is not a free man. Let us pay attention to the sacrifice that Jesus made while free, out of his own volition. He sacrificed his happiness, prosperity, comfort, safety and position. He braved the enmity of the powerful. He refused to yield or compromise. He renounced the ego, which is the toughest thing to get rid of. Honour Him for these. He willingly sacrificed the desires with which the body torments man. This sacrifice is greater than the sacrifice of the body under duress. The celebration of His birthday has to be marked by sacrificing your at least one desire or two, and conquering at least the more disastrous urges of ego."
- Discourse of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 25 Dec 1972

"A Christian makes a cross by the sign of his hands. This has got a very big meaning behind it. The cross means that we should not be afraid of difficulties as they are just passing clouds and our faith should not waiver. Just follow the heart, which is steady, and unwaivering."
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Jesus Christ had made a statement, "He who has sent me among you will come again," and He pointed to a lamb. The lamb is a symbol. It stands for the voice - Ba-Ba. Actually that announcement was of the advent of Baba. His name will be 'Truth'. 'Sathya' also means truth. He will wear a blood red robe; will be short, with a crown (hair). Jesus was Love. Sathya also is Love.

How is the Festival celebrated:
Christmas celebrations start as early as the beginning of December. Shops go for a hig "Christmas" sale, people sing carols, light candles, decorate their Christmas trees and exchange presents. Many Christians also spend their time by sitting with their families, praying and thanking the Lord for how much He has done for all of us. As for Children, their excitements knows no bounds at the very thought that Santa Claus will be giving them presents.

Catholics celebrate Christmas by worshipping Jesus' mother, Mother Mary, on the evening of 24th December and Protestants celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December.

Jai Sai Ram

Sis Tanya Wadhwani
SSEHV Group 3


 

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