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Ushering in the christmas spirit
As Christmas is fast approaching, stars, big and small have dotted the homes of the Christians in Guntur district.
As Christmas is fast approaching, stars, big and small have dotted the homes of the Christians in Guntur district. Every star points out to the presence of a Christian family in every street. The origin and significance of the star dates back to the time when the star of David gave direction to the three kings who were in search of Jesus.
Many churches in the city have been decked the city with colorful stars of small, big and even massive ones generating a festive spirit among the people. The city is full of music and hymns. Hundreds of youth are busy practicing the Christmas Tableaux nativity of Christ. Exchanging of gifts between friends and relatives has become the order of the season. Amidst all this fervor, AMG India International, a Christian NGO has been distributing cloths for the poor.
This is the time when Christmas Carol CDs sell like hot cakes throughout the world and more so in the city which has sizeable Christian population. The significance of the star can be found in the story related to the birth of Jesus Christ. One wintry night a new star came to visit the other stars.
It was so radiant that its rays shone upon the grey hills and made them light as day. The shepherds saw it and were frightened at its strange brightness; but an angel came to them and said: “Do not be afraid; the star has come to bring you good, tidings of great joy, and to show you the place where a little baby is born,--a little baby whose name is Jesus, and who will give peace and joy to the whole world.
“When the angels had gone back to Heaven, the shepherds said, "Let us go and see this child." So they left their flocks sleeping on the hillsides, and took their crooks in their hands and followed the star. It led them to the little stable in Bethlehem, when the Baby Jesus was cradled in a manger.
Another historical classic hymn called “While shepherds watch their flocks by night, All seated on the ground, The Angel of the Lord came down and his glory shone around' is sung withpassion and joy as it describes the angelic encounter to shepherds watching their flocks in the cold of the night amidst camp fires.
The star watched over them, casting a peaceful light over all. At last the dawn came over the hill tops, and the star went away, far back into the blue heavens, to tell the other stars the story of the Christmas day. The Christmas star symbolizes high hopes and high ideals.
By Ravi P. Benjamin