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What Christmas means to me

For those of us who do not celebrate Christmas, this season may be a period of gifts exchange and hearty dinners with closed friends and relatives. For those of us who celebrates Christmas, we may just regard it as the day when Jesus was born as a baby in a manger. Yet what is mind-boggling is that while the birth of Jesus is an amazing and a miracle event, the significance of Christmas is in Isaiah 9:6

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

But what has Christmas got to do with our daily lives? Many of us understand why we exchange gifts during this season. The birth of the Savior’s son does warrant all of us to be joyful. And God did give us a perfect gift. But let us examine the gift. For the nature of the gift very often gives us the intent of the gift. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have given us a scientist. Yet God gave us a son to die for our sins.

The gift that was given to us was hope.

As an educator myself as well, this story greatly moved me. There is a self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. “Stay in school,” he admonished, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. One student said, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school (secondary school'”.

And such is the power of hope.

As we continue to celebrate Christmas and march into the New Year, let us all remain confidently expectant of the future that lies ahead!