As the days get nearer to Christmas Day, the heart feels both jubilation and trepidation simultaneously because Christmas generally connotes endings and beginnings of not only the year(s) but also of so many hopes, dreams, yearning, wishes, wants and needs ~ of life itself. In fact, the very essence of Christmas is the endings and beginnings of hopes, dreams, yearning, wishes, wants and needs ~ as well as desires for change, for improvement and progress. This season underscores the dynamism of human life and this is all the more emphasized by the salvation that is the core of the message of Christmas Day. For those of us, who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, this season is sacred because the dynamism of human life is further intensified and strengthened ~ at the same time, joyous because salvation is not only assured but also gifted in the form of the birth of Baby Jesus. So, while too many of us will yet again waste another sacred and joyous season on festivities ~ that really has nothing to do with the birth of God’s only Begotten Son ~ but will also fail to renew our spirits thereby miss another opportunity to embrace the promised new beginnings every day holds ~ not just Christmas Day. The birth of Jesus Christ also amplifies the gift of Free Will endowed to the human race. In retrospection of human thinking and conduct ~ the combination of which make our history, clearly the impact and the potentials of the combination of the dynamism of human life, Free Will and the promise of salvation have not really registered in our hearts and minds. This could be the reason why we advance but do not progress, we scale insurmountable heights but remain empty-hearted and empty-handed, we chart new territories but remain lost in the same old neighbourhoods, we look to new horizons but they remain elusive, we speak in more sophisticated language but our message remains unchanged, we hope, aspire, desire, crave and covet but descend deeper into impoverishment and despondency, we embark on odysseys but find ourselves unable to uproot ourselves from our ancestral villages ~ in brief, the human race remains imprisoned within walls that were never meant to exist. The refreshing rains we experienced in the last few days could have created the space for us to ponder on issues that are graver than merely existential matters but then we could have seen the recent rains merely as a nuisance ~ either ways, our perceptions define the quality of our life, which in turn will determine what the birth of Christ really means to us. And the sum total of it reflects our collective physical, mental, psychological and societal life. Juxtapose that with the dynamism of human life, Free Will and the promise of salvation ~ we may then chance upon the explanations for the whyfors and wherefors of our existence. Yes, there is simultaneous jubilation and trepidation because this season connotes endings and beginnings ~ although most of us may not even realize it ~ and it is only human to feel the two emotions at the same time. This must then surely mean that somewhere in the unvisited back of our minds, we know of the dynamism of human life, Free Will and the promise of salvation but we are frightened to embrace and own them. If so, why are we celebrating the birth of Christ on Christmas Day? Why do we even claim to be Christians? Walking in the footsteps of Christ is tough ~ and despite gifting us life, Free Will and even salvation, the Almighty didn’t promised us an easy passage ~ therefore we must know why we are celebrating the birth of Christ. We must know why this sacred season is the season of peace and goodwill. And because walking in the footsteps of Christ is not about rites and rituals, feasts and festivities, merry-making and music, decorated trees and tinsels, cakes and ale, pork and sponsored lunches ~ not even about gifts and donations ~ we must understand and appreciate the gravity, the solemnity and the sacredness of the birth of Christ, which is the gift of unconditional love and the gift of salvation.
A Joyous Christmas to one and all.