The Era of Dignity for All
CHAPTER EIGHTThe Era of Dignity for All
Lucy with Paaru goes to each teacher’s house to meet them personally and invite them for the joyful Christmas gathering at her house after fixing the plan with her parents and sisters. They have planned to gather on 25th December at 3 pm. Contrary to Lucy’s fears, all the fifty-three teachers, including the Principal, gather for a get-together at her house. She, her sisters, parents, and Paaru are excited and happy to welcome them all. The teachers wish them ’Happy Christmas’ and sing Carols, and Lucy invites the Principal to cut the festival cake. They are excited to meet Lucy’s sisters, parents and talk to them. All share snacks and conversations and little ice-breaking games. They experience a special joy within them to mix with all.
"Lucy, we have heard of Christmas, the Birthday of Jesus, but why is it very important for Christians? What is the speciality of it? We don’t know, why don’t you tell us about it? Why is it an important day for you all?" Lakshmi teacher requests Lucy. The others join the teacher is asking her the same.
Hearing those searching questions, even though Paaru knows well that her friend can explain it, she prays to Jesus to help Lucy do it well.
"Yes, I’m only happy to explain to you, about my Lord Jesus, and all about it," Lucy responds with gratitude and joy over the chance to speak about Jesus.
"Thank you, Lucy." Teachers express their gratitude.
"To make it very clear to you, I start with a question, what’s the reason for Christmas? Various people may have different answers. But let me answer it as the Bible, the Word of God, reveals. For this, I draw your attention to heaven. I take you to the first creation of God. What God created first in the spiritual world was an angel, called Lucifer, meaning Son of dawn, the morning star, or the carrier of light. God created him as the handsomest and perfect in beauty. He then created a small angel, a cherub, and placed him with Lucifer as a guard of honor. God gave Lucifer angel Will, later to all human beings. This Will has freedom, in the freedom of the Will, you can obey God or disobey Him. God will not go against your free choice. You are responsible for what you choose and the consequence of it as well. Then later, God created many angels, call it an uncountable number of angels, and he divided them into seven groups. Each group had a leader called Archangel. The Holy Bible has revealed three of the seven names of Archangels, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. God had revealed to the angels that he would create human beings. Lucifer, who was the first creation, got thrilled at his glory and majestic appearance. When he heared this messafe he was extremely happy because he thought of controlling the human beings God would create. God had made him powerful, and that led him to the state of pride. As a result he started thinking of himself as great as God." She describes the spiritual world.
Lucy then continues the story, "Later, God revealed that he would create the human beings in His own image and likeness, and he would give them the authority and power over the three realms, land, water and air, and all the creatures in it. Lucifer couldn’t bear it, he felt he lost his world of secret wishes. He realized that God would give to human beings what he wished to have in the visible world. So, he started revolting against God, and wished to kick God out of his throne and crown himself as God." She explains what importance God gives to human beings in the visible world.
She tells them about the creation of the visible world, "Meanwhile, God’s spirit hovered over the darkness of the abyss. It was in disorder and formless. Once the Holy Spirit of God moved in, new forms came into existence like Sun and Moon, light of the Sun God called day and darkness he called night, then the land, water, and atmosphere. Then God created out of nothing all creatures moving and unmoving. Every kind of tree and plant sprouted out. Creatures in water and air and land started moving; there was order and beauty everywhere. The glory of God was everywhere in whatever he created." Lucy gives clarity about God’s creation of the whole visible world.
At the thought of human beings having dominion over the visible world where God’s glory, order, and beauty reign over everything, causing peace and harmony everywhere, Lucifer’s heart burns with jealousy, and hatred of God takes root in him.
She introduces three things. The reason for enmity between God, and Lucifer, the change of Lucifer to Satan, and Satan’s hatred of all human beings, "The arrogant Lucifer started going to all the seven groups to antagonize the angels against God; his instigating the angels of all groups produced little fruit. Many angels believed his white lies, and joined company with him forming an army of fallen angels. Those corrupted angels were one third of the angels. The moment Lucifer started hating God, his angelic appearance changed into that of a horror striking dragon. He started behaving like God."
"Making note of this action, Michael the Archangel challenged the dragon, ’Who is here trying to become like our great God?’ God watched over his actions and appointed him to cast out Lucifer and his companions from heaven with the help of the other faithful angels. Thus, they formed two aremies and war broke out in heaven. Michael and his companions fought against Lucifer and his evil angels, defeated them and threw them out of heaven. Those defeated angels got a name called evil spirits and their leader, Lucifer, the got the name Satan, the carrier of darkness. When Satan and the evil spirits went out of heaven, Lucifer had challenged God,’ You create your great human beings, I’ll show you.’ ".
"Remember after throwing them out from heaven, God created the visible world, starting with Sun, Moon, Stars and everything else. Much later, when the earth had produced everything for food for human beings,God created Adam out of soil, and he liked everything he created, but he was not happy to see Adam without a companion. That was his only creation he found not alright. So God made Adam to get into a deep sleep, may be anesthesia, and out of Adam’s rib, God created Eve. There was order, beauty, and human beings; all animals lived in harmony and no one went against each other.
"Lucy further explains to lead them to the celebration of Christmas, "God had told them to eat all fruits in Eden Garden, except the fruits of a particular tree in the middle of the park. Then, Lucifer, the Satan who had challenged God while coming out of heaven, came to Adam and Eve as a snake, a creature of God, and enticed the woman first to eat the forbidden fruit and, through her, tempted Adam. When Adam also shared in the disobedience the cycle of committing sin got over.
"Adam and Eve listened to the voice of Satan and ate the forbidden fruit, disobeying the commandment of God. Thus they misused God’s precious gift of the Will to sin against God and thus to insult him. Adam and Eve used the God-given gift of Will to make a free choice to disobey God and obey Satan’s lies. Lucifer thus destroyed the image and likeness of God in them because he hated God and anything of God. Satan stole away from them the authority and power God had given them over land, water, and air. Sin separated them from God, and they became helpless and slaves to Satan. Whomever you obey, you become slaves to that entity. God was sad over his children’s actions. God created them to be with God forever; God’s plan of happiness for human beings got thwarted." Lucy explains how sin entered the earth.
"What was the consequence of the first parents’ sin? Before the corruption, the wild animals, poisonous reptiles, and various creatures lived in harmony. The human children used to play at the mouth of the deadly snakes, and little children used to graze the lions and tigers, and there was no violence or anybody did any harm to each other. Adam or Eve could command the floods to stop whenever it came and it would stop, Every visible thing obeyed the human beings. That was the meaning of the authority and power God had given to human beings." She speaks about the relationship between the creatures before falling into temptation.
After the sin, Satan and his evil spirits started controlling all created things. Human beings have become helpless; no visible creatures obey them, even tiny creatures as viruses exploit human beings. Now we are powerless before them. Doctors cannot even diagnose many sicknesses, floods, and other natural calamities that enslave human beings. Disorder everywhere, murder, violence, and many crimes multiply on the face of the earth. God brought order, beauty, peace, and harmony, and a man brought disorder, chaos, and suffering because of their disobedience." Lucy explains the after-effect of sin to the teachers.
"Through old Adam and Eve sin entered the earth, and through new Adam and Eve salvation for all would come. Out of his unconditional love for human beings, God promised a Saviour through another woman to set them free from the slavery of Satan and his fallen angels - the evil spirits. When the appointed time came, God sent his own only Son and took a human form in the womb of the Virgin Mary in Nazareth." Lucy gives a further understanding of the mystery of Christmas.
"It is essential to understand what this Son is. Christian God is a Trinitarian God, with three persons with definite characteristics, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let me explain to you the meaning of the Holy Trinity through an imagery. When you look at the rising Sun, what do you see in the east? A blazing object; the rays come out of it; when they touch anything, they turn into light. In the light, we recognize the burning object as the Sun. The Sun has three elements, and we don’t call light as the Sun or the rays as the Sun or the burning object up in the sky as the Sun. When these three join, we call it the Sun. Without the glow from the burning object, you cannot see the object. Three elements of the Sun reveal the mystery of the Christian Trinitarian God, three persons in one God." Lucy spells out the mystery of the Holy Trinity of Christians.
She further expounds, "The Eternal Father is the Father- head, or you may call God the Father, then God the Son, and God the Spirit. All these three have distinctive characteristics, but all three together we call God. Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity took flesh in the womb of the virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit overshadowed her; it was Divine intervention, and she conceived him."
"God, the Son, took sinful human flesh to become part of the human world to communicate to them in their way, though he was sinless. Like any human being, she delivered this child in Bethlehem, called the home of bread. In utter humility, He came down from the level of God to the state of human beings to redeem them from the power of sin and darkness because of his unconditional love for all human beings. So, we call Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the bread that came down from heaven. When Mary delivered that child, the fulfilment of God’s prophesies about the Messiah through various prophets throughout the centuries took place. From the time of Jesus’ birth, an era of dignity for all human beings started." Lucy discloses a lovely explanation of the Son Jesus. That’s what Jesus did throughout his life till his last breath on the cross. Jesus took birth in a manger to die on the cross. Jesus’ nature of his mission is the reason why Christians need to celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus." Lucy concludes all about Christmas.
Paaru feels very happy and proud of her friend for explaining in a meaningful way the mystery of Christmas, and she thanks Jesus for helping her do it very well. She looks at the wonderstruck teachers looking at Lucy in pin-drop silence with tears in some of their eyes.
Now, I ask you the same first question. Who caused the first Christmas?’Many answers come up, "We human beings, the sin of our first parents."
"That’s right. May I ask another question to you for clarity?"
"Yes." The enthusiastic teachers are excited to hear more.
"How can we experience this promised redemption, from the slavery of sin, to a dignified human life?" Lucy leads them to reflection and introspection.
When we follow the teachings of Jesus, and if we live out the new way he has shown we can achieve it." Many of the teachers responded in the same line.
"Yes. Jesus has given us a new way of life, His values are forgiveness, love your enemies as yourself and pray for them, do justice, create brotherhood and a sisterhood, help the poor and homeless, the rejected, take care of the sick and the lonely, give dignity to those who have lost it. The poor are always with us , around us, and we don’t need to search for themanywhere else. When we practice these, the Satan slowly moves away from us and then the Holy Spirit of God can move into us, filling us with new life and newfound freedom to guide us to a meaningful life. Then we can look at our enemies with loving eyes. This is what you see with Christians all over the world today. Jesus’ followers do not go after, with weapons, those who harm them inorder to retaliate. But they go to their knees, and pray for them that one day, they may repent and become God’s loving children." Lucy puts forward, in a nutshell, the values of Jesus.
"Did Jesus come for Christians or for whom?" Lucy makes them aware of what they have heard.
"Jesus came for every human being" The teachers, in unison, express their understanding.
Lucy notices most of the teachers have joined their hands in devotion, and she feels happy.
Sarada teacher expresses the others’ and her opinions. "Thank you, Lucy, for sharing with us about our God, how we get into sinful situations and how we can come out of it. Thank you for revealing to us that Jesus is here for every human being, whatever religion they may affiliate to. Our old false and unhealthy understandings about Christianity have got cleared now."
"At the end, I want to mention a very important thing as a Christmas message to my beloved teachers. God never chose a comfortable and secure house with comfortable surroundings for His Son to be born. His parents were refugees. They searched for a place from place to place and finally, they got it among the animals in a manger. There, on a bed of hay, the Son of God was born. The larger story of Christmas is a story that should remind us all amidst the season of joy and giving gifts that there are many who don’t experience joy, and they need our help. Mary, Joseph and eventually Jesus found himself homeless, wandering, and took birth in terribly deprived and strange circumstances. This story reminds us all to identify with those who have nothing, not even a roof above their heads. It reminds us that the Son of God is born in such deprivation to bring hope, succor, and light to the world. Whether you are a Christian or not, it’s a story that applies to all of us human beings. To help the deprived, the abandoned, the homeless, the victims of injustices, the under-trial prisoners, the scapegoat suffering in many jails of the world instead of the real criminals, the child Jesus, the Son of God, wants each one of us to help the needy. All of us in our own lives can make a difference in the lives of the surrounding unfortunate. It can be acts of charity, but Jesus wants us to do what we can afford and only what we can afford. It can be simple acts of generosity, acts of kindness, acts of concern for those who have less, and are in need. Each of us has within us the gift of giving what we can spare. All of us can afford a kind word, a few minutes of our time to spark a ray of hope in a needy person. This is my humble Christmas message to you and the entire world. I wish you all, a happy Christmas and a graceful New Year. Now you may know why I call Christmas is the beginning of an Era of Dignity." She concludes her message to all.
The teachers express their gratitude to Lucy, especially her rich message, parents, sisters, and Paaru. Their expression of joy and affection through their dealings has touched the hearts of Lucy and her family. All of their cheerful faces speak it all louder.
Kiran Devi, a teacher, requests Lucy and all, "Please sing a Christian song before concluding our rich gathering. We’ll never forget this spiritual food you have shared with us more than everything else.
"Lucy and her sisters take the lead to sing a healing song of hope and courage.
’Jesus sets me absolutely free,
Died on Calvary, gave me liberty,
Jesus set me absolutely free,
Praise His Holy Name.’