In the beginning was the Word (the Tao)… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
May you have a blessed Christmas and may the peace of Christ reign in your heart and in your home.
Drew this using the calligraphy brush marker.
There’s a lot of meaning embedded in this drawing.
It is interesting to note that in the many old Chinese translations of the Scriptures, John Wu (and many others) saw a great link between the Word and the Tao (道). In fact, the Chinese had a very beautiful understanding of God as a being (the Tao), but not who He is. Nonetheless, what they had to say about the Tao was true of God, though they lacked that deeper understanding.
From a distance, we have Confucius and Lao Tzu standing at a distance teaching people to follow the Way (道), yet what they didn’t realise was that they were actually pointing others to The Way – to Christ Himself.
In the foreground, we have the Nativity Scene, where the Holy Family are situated in a manger, under the bright star that guided the Wise Men.
Towards the right is a shepherd climbing up the mountain (the Gospel story has been adapted into a Chinese landscape) with his sheep. That’s us. We are both the shepherd and the sheep – leading others by our deep desire for truth and love, and being led according to The Way (道/Christ), either by wise men/friends (represented by the Chinese philosophers), or by Divine Grace (represented by the star).
In the background, on the left of the Nativity Scene is the scene from the Passion of Christ. This is a reminder that even though a great Mystery has occured – that God has chosen to become Man and has dwelt with us – His entrace into our world is for a greater purpose – the salvation of the whole human race, to reveal Man to himself, and to show us what it means to love.
In fact, if one were to read the passages on the Birth of Christ, one would come to realise that each character’s role was not accidental. They were specifically chosen to play a significant role in the Divine Plan of Salvation. The Blessed Virgin Mary was to be the Mother of Christ. St. Joseph, the protector. St. John the Baptist to prepare the way for Him.
The story of Christmas – the birth of Jesus – is the story of the salvation of the whole human race. It is a story that has not yet ended. And we are part of that story. You and I, like Mary and Joseph, are part of that great yet mysterious Divine Plan of Salvation. Where we are now – this moment in history, at this particular geographical location, in a certain school/office, with those particular friends, etc. – is just part of that grand plan.
And all it takes to live out this Christmas story; all it takes to fulfill that purpose which we have been made for, is to repeat those words of Mary, and generously say: Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Let it be done according to Your Word.
Just as how Mary started the chain of salvation by her generosity, we too can start off the chain of salvation by our consent to God to continue the Christmas story in our lives.