CHRISTMAS: A TIME FOR RENEWAL AND REDEDICATION
In the Old Testament, Isaiah foretold the birth of Jesus: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14
During the time of Isaiah, Judah was a divided state that was facing threats from neighbouring Samaria, in addition to their own problems. The people were cast in hopelessness and despair, but were comforted when God spoke to Isaiah and gave them hope with the promise of a savior to come.
When Isaiah made the prophecy, the people thought that the event would happen during their time, and started looking for such a child. However, God’s time is not the same as man’s time. The prophecy went beyond Isaiah’s time and it was 500 years later that Matthew confirmed the same prophecy: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God is with us.” ~ Matthew 1:23
This reflection brings me to the spiritual aspect of Christmas – because of our sins, we are in a dire situation but there is hope to be reconciled with God, made possible by the birth of Jesus. This is clearly stated in both the Old and New Testaments. The prophecy was realised with the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, offering us reconciliation with God, if we make the commitment to do so.
The current situation in this country reminds me of the time of Isaiah. It is a time of political unrest and uncertainty, and the people are going through difficult times economically. Even in these challenging political, economic and social situations and this time of religious and political oppression, God in His mercy can intervene in our nation. God, in His sovereignty can bring about the consciousness of justice and righteousness in people of all religions, and He can cause such justice and righteousness to shine in Malaysia.
It is my hope and prayer that this Christmas, we examine ourselves, and make the decision to rededicate ourselves to God who has in His love and mercy sent Jesus to be born as a human more than 2000 years ago. Let us all also take the time to renew, refresh and reaffirm our commitment towards making Malaysia a country of peace and harmony, justice and equality, where courageous and righteous leaders will steer the country in the right direction, away from corruption and waste.
This is also a time of gratitude for our blessings, for our families, friends and all with whom we come into contact in our daily lives. It is our relationships that give meaning and richness to our lives – our relationship with God and with the people around us. This Christmas, I wish everyone abundant blessings of the love of God, family and friends. For 2018, may we see changes that will bring about prosperity, progress and peace to all communities of Sarawak and Malaysia.
A Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!
God Bless Malaysia, God Bless Us All.
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak / ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan