"Tidings of Comfort and Joy"
Anne Carroll, in her book Christ the King, Lord of History, says “…to find the most important event in the history of the world, we must find an event that had a great influence at the time it occurred, that is still influencing history at the present time, and that even made a difference in history before it occurred. There is only one event that meets all these requirements. That event is what Christians call the Incarnation: the birth, life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ who was both God and man… The use of B.C. and A.D. in our dating system,” she says, “with the division point being the birth of Christ, indicates that the Incarnation is the most important event in history.”
Our mentor, Fr. Baker, in his book Preach the Word, concurs: “The birth of Christ in a humble stable in Bethlehem is the greatest event to take place in the whole history of the world.... No other historical event ever has or ever will surpass it…The incarnation of God in Jesus is God’s greatest work in the world of creation for three reasons: 1) because it has God himself as its purpose and end—to assume flesh from the Virgin Mary and so become man; 2) because it is the supreme manifestation of God’s love for man; 3) because of the immense good it brings to all mankind--- the possibility of salvation and eternal life.”
Fr. Baker continues, “At this time (Christmas), we experience God’s love for us. It is visible. And in imitation of God’s love for us we are motivated to show love for our family and friends… God made us out of love and for love. That is our destiny. He made us for himself and we know from 1 John 4 that God is love--- that is his very nature and definition and we experience a touch of that love at Christmas… When we show love for God and love for our neighbor, then we are doing what God made us for, what God made us to do. And when we do that, we experience true joy and happiness. That is why Christmas is such a happy time--- a time to rejoice! So saying ‘Merry Christmas’ really means ‘rejoice’ because Jesus has come to save us.”
Fr. George Welzbacher, when asked “Why we give gifts at Christmas?” said we do so, “Because God gave His only begotten Son to us as one of us. We in turn give gifts to one another to express our gratitude and joy.” What can we give Jesus? We can give Jesus love and adoration, and one of the ways we do this is by imitating Jesus’ love. Just as Jesus gratuitously loves us, we can see Jesus in others and gratuitously love them through gifts, acts of charity, forgiveness and cheerfulness. Singing Christmas carols is one of the ways we cheerfully celebrate the first visible presence of the Savior of the World.
When Jesus begins his public ministry, he says, “Repent and believe the Good News.” (Mark 1:15) What is the Good News? Broadly speaking, it’s the whole teaching of Christianity. But, in one sentence, what is it? Fr. George Welzbacher put it this way: “Christ Jesus our Lord, God the Son who became man, by His teachings and sufferings and death, opened the Gates of Heaven for all who hear His Word and follow it.” Christmas marks the visible beginning of the Good News.
We who volunteer for St. Michael Broadcasting hope that, through our programming, you are inspired to bring “tidings of comfort and joy” to all you meet. That is the spirit of Christmas. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers at St. Michael Broadcasting: those who film, edit, post events on 14.1, screen programs, set the schedule, schedule the programs, manage our website, come up with movies to air, manage our computers, pay the bills, send out thank you notes, provide accounting services and help with the monthly mailings. We thank God for Bill Bennett, a CPA and attorney, who provided his services for free since 2009 and died this past year. We would like to thank you, the viewers, who make this station a part of your lives, and who support the station through your prayers, financial support and by making the station more widely known.
Please help the station if you can through word of mouth, your prayers, by offering to volunteer, or if possible, a financial contribution. Our expenses this year were much higher than usual due to our transmitter problems and replacement of failing equipment in our master control room (Cost: over $70,000). Contributions in October came to only just over $3000!
Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas! Venite Adoremus!