Christmas, as we all know, is a time of celebration and enjoyment. More to it is the fact that it calls for a sober reflection, introspection, and retrospection about all that has happened by our making and beyond our making, which in one way or the other, has impacted both positively and negatively on humanity and the planet Earth. What makes this topic very, very crucial for discussion this time is because of the uncertainty that greeted the world in 2020 in the form of COVID-19, which made life expectancy to drop and ignited fear in the hearts of many as to whether one would live to see another Christmas or not.
Similarly, these are times when people appreciate the importance of life more than ever before, seeing life as a privilege and not a right. Going by these unusual demands, one now has no choice than to see Christmas beyond just a time of celebration and enjoyment.
When you ask people, especially in the West, about what Christmas truly represents, you get different descriptions born out of different perspectives. One thing that is incontrovertible about Christmas is the strong attachment it has with Christ and His supernatural birth by a mother who was considered a virgin, although engaged to her fiance.
One notable thing about Christmas is the way it affects people differently, especially in relation to their ages and months of birth. For instance, it is possible that some children are celebrating for the first time in life while others have celebrated it a couple of times, and others so many times ever 50, 60, 70, 80 and so forth. This disparity, with regards to how it affects people differently on the basis of age, makes the saying that it is insanity to keep doing the same thing the same way and expect a different result become applicable and relevant. People celebrate Christmas based on their understanding of it as a Christian ritual or some kind of celebration that evolved from a source that does not even have anything to do with Christianity. Nonetheless, everyone relates to this period of festivity to the best of their abilities.
Let me use this opportunity to announce that the one who is celebrated, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is far more important than the celebration and how we prioritize between the celebration and the celebrated depends on what we get out of the celebration either for good or for bad or as a blessing or a curse. Needless to say, I try to present Jesus Christ afresh as the only begotten son of God, for this I believe so many already knew, but for the sake of those who never took time to really take in the essence of the celebration as opposed to the feeling of the celebration, I hereby reiterate. Christmas is therefore expected to be a time of spiritual rejuvenation, born out of spiritual introspection, retrospection and sober reflections.
Unfortunately, with many, Christmas is just one of the holidays which means it is time to take off from work, wine and dine with friends, and do what people love to do as opposed to doing what ought to be done. This confusion has brought about a lot of crises into our society, for until we see the coming of Christ or His birth as the termination of crises, we will ever continue to wallow in our intractable problems and live in a world where peace has become illusive.
This time of Christmas is an opportunity given by God to humanity for making a change in their situations and surroundings by allowing a change to take place in them as individuals, societies, and nations of the world. It might make one appear too ambitious and religious but it is just the truth that has to be told that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of the world. Bear in mind, also, that the birth of Jesus, which we celebrate today, is a spiritual force that can be replicated in our lives as individuals and nations, thereby drawing supernatural powers from above to bear on what goes on on the planet Earth.
The mystery surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible, is yet to be denied by any known scholar or school of thought. The only controversy in regard to it remains as the refusal by those who should know better to accept Him for who He is in order for them to partake of the everlasting gift that He brought to mankind.
The more we avoid calling the name JESUS that has been given to us by which we can be saved, the more we postpone our days of peace and tranquility. Suffice to say that the world is yet to witness serious and intractable problems. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are a tip of the iceberg. The Word of God (Bible) has all these revealed in the form of prophecies in Matthew 24 . What is written is written.
As I use this medium to wish all Christians across the globe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, I admonish us also to allow for the rebirth of Christ in our lives, for doing so is wise. There is just one way that leads to heaven, and that way is Jesus. All other ways lead to destruction. For there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of destruction. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25) It is better to turn back from going on the wrong road than to continue on the road that leads to everlasting destruction.
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” (Romans 12:9-12)
On a final note, Jesus is a product of love, for God is love. Where there is hatred, unhealthy competitions, covetousness, racism, ethnic cleansings, killings, nepotism, terrorism, religious intolerance, extremism and other inhuman treatments from man to man, love cannot be said to be prevalent, and where there is no love, there is no God. When God turns His back at one or the world, going forward in the right direction becomes impossible. Realize also that if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul, there is nothing he has to exchange for his soul.
The body will return to its original source, while the spirit returns to its owner, God. We should remember where we came from, where we are, and where we are headed.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance.
Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju