Monday, December 29, 2008

Showing Love This Christmas

Once again, it’s Christmas, the most celebrated feast in Christendom marking the birth of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. At Christmas, we are invited to re-live that landmark and historical event which took place more than 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to be born in a relatively humble city of David called Bethlehem.
The circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ are a salutary lesson in humility, self-abnegation and love. Emperors and Kings are born, amid pomp and fanfare, in special hospitals. But when peaceful silence lay over the face of the earth, and the night had run half of her swift course, God chose to be born in a place where animals are kept in Bethlehem, a comparatively insignificant and humble city. Everything in the Holy family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary bespeaks the family values of love, concern, service, dedication and altruism.
To re-live these exemplary virtues which featured at the first Christmas, we must truly love our fellow human beings. The greatest obstacle to the building of a true nation bound together in mutual reliance, true love, and fraternity is man’s inhumanity to man. Therefore beyond the exchange of Christmas greetings, gifts, hampers and singing of Christmas carols, we must learn to see Christ in our neighbours. We must eschew hatred, rancour, greed and avarice. We must build an ethic of human solidarity aimed at promoting the common good and the welfare of fellow men and women.
Regrettably, in the last one year, life has become harsh for many Nigerians. Basic necessities of life are lacking in many parts of the country. Many Christmas travellers probably did not get to their respective country homes to celebrate the Christmas due to the deplorable condition of our roads. Many Nigerians are celebrating this Christmas in darkness due to acute power failure. And security of lives and property is not even guaranteed. Armed robbers are on the prowl, looking for whom to devour. Besides, prices of foodstuffs keep on skyrocketing.
Yet, instead of seeking joy in the true meaning of Christmas, many seek it in drunken orgy. Therefore, this Christmas is a good time to embrace a new humanism rooted in sincere love for our neighbours and positive attitude to life. Our political leaders, in particular, should reciprocate Christ’s love and dedicated service. They should understand that power entails service to the people, not self-worship or self-deification. Many Nigerians are dying of hunger, illness, frustration and poverty today because our leaders have stopped caring. If Christ was born to save mankind, we have no right to turn our back on the deprived and needy in our midst. Christ showed what selfless service entails by giving His own life for the salvation of mankind. We should emulate Him.
Christmas, brings with it the good tiding of peace. But unfortunately we live in a world completely torn apart by hatred, political wrangling, corruption, violence, wars, suicide bombings, natural and man-made tragedies. There is no peace even in many homes, there is no love. This is a good occasion to show love and make peace.
Let us all make love our key to peace and success this Christmas. Christmas time is an invitation to build bridges across the troubled waters of political, ideological, tribal, racial and personal differences. As we make merry today, let us not forget to show love now and always towards a more peaceful world as envisaged by the King of Peace, Jesus.
Wishing all our readers a joyful and trouble-free Christmas