Luab: What do we bring to the manger?

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Saturday, December 21, 2013

FOUR more days to go before Christmas Day. By now we should be done with our preparations for Christmas Eve. So what do we lay on the manger as our birthday gift for Jesus?

Many of us have over-extended ourselves for the Christ in our brothers in Bohol, Tacloban, Samar, Northern Cebu, etc. But that act of love is what we in Christ were expected to do. We were the hands, feet and hearts of God during those trying times, the answer to “Where was God then.”

A birthday gift is what you think about days before the birthday of one’s beloved. Even the affluent have difficulty in granting the wishes of their love ones especially when a daughter in college hints for a car or a son in high school wants to go on a cruise with members of his group.

Money really does not solve those wishes when the areas of growth and responsibility have not yet been reached.

For the poor, the problem of finances is a big headache. When a son or a daughter hankers for a new pair of shoes, jeans, blouse or a shirt, how does one skimp and save for these when the problem of survival is the first priority? Yet the wonder of it all is that even the poor are able to somehow fulfill the birthday wish.

Now what about our birthday gift for Christ? Christ has never hidden His wish which goes down throughout the ages. It is still “Love God with all your heart and might and your neighbor as God loves you.”

Actually, what we see on TV, in the movies, at the malls is what hinders us from focusing on God and on what is right and what is wrong. For example, on whose side were you on when Miley Cyrus stuck out her tongue in a very erotic song and dance act?

Did you say, “It was horrible for the young to watch?” Or did you say, “It’s okay; it was a means to improve her ratings?”

When you see videos of sex acts on Facebook, do you brush it off as “routine, ordinary or okay because it is being done now-a-days?”

When your daughter comes out to you and says, “Everyone I know is no longer a virgin. I want to be like them!” Are you shocked? Or do you just say, “Please be safe.”

When the young hold boxers, basketball most valuable players football stars, etc. regardless of their private lives, as their idol, where does focus on God come in?

In the next four days, our neighbor might be a member of our family. Have we really looked at our mothers who bear the brunt of working for us tirelessly at home, taking care of our kids so we can work at the office in peace?

Have we looked at dad whose lines of fatigue are etched on his face as he just manages to produce the tuition in time for enrolment? Sisters and brothers who without complaint, help put food on our tables or buy medicines whenever we get sick may want a show of love and appreciation this Christmas. Our helpers do have extended families and rarely do they complain of the hardships they carry on their backs. They too are our neighbors.

What about the watch-your-car boys who attend to you the whole year round? If you are living in a subdivision, you have security guards and maintenance people. We don’t have to give expensive items. A midnight cheer of a liter of soft drinks plus delicacies would help make merry their midnight snack.

Actually I just saw Lo Imposible in the English version, of the survival of a family, after the tsunami in Thailand. After seeing the movie, I felt that the best gift we can give this Christmas to God is our gratitude for God’s gift of life to us.

Let us lay our gratitude in the manger as we are able still to connect with God and each other this Christmas. A blessed Christmas indeed has been given to us!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 22, 2013.


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