Panes: Before and after II-A A +A
By Joel Panes
Monday, December 23, 2013
IN A state of untruth, we are caught in a day we thought was the Savior’s birth but it is not. For years, very sincere preachers have exhorted their flock to a Christmas with the Spirit of Christ. And so, we have striven. The prayers on the dinner table are sincere and exchange of gifts, exciting but the heart of the Host for whom the season was so named, maybe weeps. For centuries, His patience endures with our ignorance.
We believed those who said they were His emissaries but they knew him not fully. Shepherds professed they knew Him but not all who said so, knew Him completely. Many in our times still say they know Him, boast of reading and hearing the Testaments and even divine His Will but our claims of spiritual intimacy are defective in axiomatic and critical truths. Interestingly, the Messiah never expressly mandated His birthday’s celebration. His apostles Paul, Peter or John do not even mention its importance in their writings.
Albeit appearing inconsequential, the misrepresentation of Christmas as the Messiah’s birth is only a microcosm of errors which we have nurtured and defended as the Truth. Yes, Christmas has snowballed into the world’s most celebrated occasions just like the gargantuan Tower of Babel was built by heathen of a united speech and purpose but Christmas sans the Messiah is literally only a mass, an egg without the yolk. Our hearts have been wronged sincerely. Our spirits have been deceived unwittingly. 2000 years after Yahshua’s first visitation, a sliver of Light shines upon our faces to show us the mark we have missed but do we care?
That one is an atheist, agnostic or religious does is immaterial. As the sun shines upon both righteous and unrighteous and the force of gravity applies to both believer and unbeliever, the misrepresentation of the Truth affects man’s individual and collective destiny. The entire belief system which moves the eternal power to bring heaven on earth thru the agency of man was compromised and misplaced. With adulterated fuel, we have been filled to the tank and our built-in spiritual engines have been sputtering.
The line dividing truth from lie is as gray as cigarette ash. Our public servants are princes. We are aghast with the death count of Yolanda’s rage of Tacloban but militantly justify the legal use of abortifacients against the unborn’s sanctity of life in the mother’s womb. The nation loathes Nur Misuari’s insurrection in Zamboanga to separate the peninsula and Palawan from the Philippine Republic but at the United Nations, it casts a vote to divide the land of Israel in favor of Palestinians. Our leaders are academically astute and worldly wise but anemic in the Truth. Ignorance has bred ignorance while bearers of a deviant faith have produced self-righteous modern day Pharaohs, Herods and Jezebels whose visions of excellence are darkened by the attrition of those who oppose their muddled light.
Two thousand years ago, magi from the east knew of a bright star. They followed its light and over the Messiah’s birthplace in Bethlehem, it stood still. Incredibly, these wise men knew and understood the times and the season. They possessed a foreknowledge of a future event which unfolded in their time. They knew the hour the Messiah would be with men and with them, brought the holy infant destined to be the King of Israel gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; but the shepherds on the field had to be told.
We would like to believe that on winter solstice the Christ was born.
For thousands of years, the institution of man has propagated the practice and it has ripened into a tradition. But the pendulum of change returns to where it begun - the Messiah was born sometime on September and October in a festivity called Sukkot. On the season of his birth, prophecies were fulfilled. That He would be Immanuel – God with us. In Hebrew, sukkot means tent, tabernacle or dwelling place. In this season, the Truth indeed dwelt among men.
As surprisingly clear as the recent snowfall on Cairo was, so is the showing that December 25 is not the Messiah’s birth season. Unlike Nicholson’s bold threat to Cruise that the advocate couldn’t handle the truth in A Few Good Men, this nugget of truth will be a life against the grain and an uphill battle on a narrow road. But the Truth will set us free.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 24, 2013.