The son of Mary: God’s radical solution to evil

By Hanne Nabintu Herland

Read Hanne’s The Herland Report.

Christmas is a time of year where billions around the world commemorate the birth of Jesus, who was born in a barn and placed in a feeding container for animals. The humble beginnings of the son of Mary, who was begotten by the Spirit of God yet born from the womb of a woman, came to symbolize the most remarkable revolution of love in world history.

In the silent night in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph were far from the palaces of the high and mighty, yet the baby born in such unpretentious and modest conditions would become more powerful than any king. He was the Savior of the poor, the unwanted, the fatherless, yet also the life giver to whoever asked for his help, whether it be kings or queens. Completely disregarding the social status system of this world, God became man, and the existential light of humankind materialized into the darkness.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was known for her Christian faith, explained the Christmas message in 2011 in this way: “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. … God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Savior, with the power to forgive.”

This is what we celebrate at Christmas, the entry of God’s radical solution to the existing evil, despair and depression that surrounds this earth. The existential battle between good and evil forces is taking place within the heart of man as well as in society and the spiritual realm above us. As egoism, deceit, greed and selfish pride characterize the evil way of the world, the Jesus example represented a starkly different path to glory. By choosing selflessness even to death, the humility of the son of Mary becomes the greatest example of love for humankind.

In essence, Christmas has come to symbolize the existential love story between God and the human race. It brings a deep sense of meaning, asserting that we are not left alone in this world.

It sends the message that life is not hopeless. Love is not hopeless. God is not dead. The world is a wonderful, meaningful place where we prepare for the afterlife.

It is also the arena where we combat the evil forces that coexist here with us, in the fight Christianity professes is best won by connecting to the eternal source of light.

As God is light, He is the only true source of redemption from darkness. It is the mental journey into the spiritual realm that makes it possible for mankind to experience God. The possibility of healing is available to us there.

By adhering to Christ’ recipe for the best possible life, by practicing love for humankind, man is given a path to eternal peace that transcends any empirical and materialistic reality in the tangible world.

This is the message that has been conveyed in thousands of churches all over the Middle East where Jesus lived thousands of years ago and his message first was distributed, as well as among the billions of believers that adhere to the Christian way of life all over the world today.

A great help is studying the words of Jesus in the most read book in world history, the Bible – a collection of several thousand years of writings that provide exquisite literature, wisdom, history and prophetic writings.

Here man may learn how to tap into the existential wisdom that, when practiced, elevates the individual and frees him from the torment of hopelessness, emptiness and fear. The path to inner freedom and peace – in the midst of the storms of this world – then begins to open up.

Again, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and how she explained the significance of Christmas: “The Christmas story retains its appeal since it doesn’t provide theoretical explanations for the puzzles of life. Instead it is about the birth of a child and the hope that birth two thousand years ago brought to the world. I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel. … Only a few people acknowledged Jesus when he was born. Now billions follow him. I believe his message of peace on earth and goodwill to all is never out of date.”

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