Opinion: Christmas is a celebration of love and sharing – By JOHN DAMIAN ADIZIE
Christmas is one peculiar celebration that means different thing to different people. For some people, Christmas is a season of decoration and fashions, whereas others see Christmas as a period of travelling and picnic. Some people see the Christmas tree as the essence of Christmas, while for so many others the Christmas crib is what Christmas is all about. Christmas tree Majority of people celebrate Christmas with the Carol of nine lessons while others travel to different parts of world, including Bethlehem of Judea, where our Lord Jesus Christ was born, to observe their Christmas celebration. These are just few interpretations of what Christmas is all about; am sure you may have your own interpretation. I want to share with you my dear reader what I consider as the essence of Christmas.Christmas is a Celebration of Love: At Christmas we are not just celebration thebirth of the child Jesus. Essentially we are celebrating the Love of God the Father. As St.
John rightly wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”(John 3:16). God the Father is the Lover while our Lord Jesus Christ is the BelovedSon of God the Father. Our Lord Jesus Christ is God’s most precious gift to the world. At Christmas we are meant to share in this love of God. We are also called to sharethis love with our fellow human beings. St. John invites us to love one another, especially during this Christmas season: ” Beloved, let us love one another, becauselove is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoeverdoes not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8). Love istherefore the essence of Christmas. Hence, Christmas celebration is love in action! Christmas is a Celebration of Sharing:
Apart from love Christmas is all aboutsharing. In the gospel of Luke 1:39-45, When the Angel told Mary that her cousinSister, Elizabeth has conceived, Mary set out and went with haste to Judean toshare her testimony with her sister, As soon as she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled withthe Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women,and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that themother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”Christmas is not just a time to share our testimonies it is also a time to share ourfood with the hungry. A time to visit the orphans, the prisoners, the refugees andthe Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
Christmas is a Celebration of Joy: As soon as our Lord Jesus Christ was born, anangel of the Lord appeared to a group of Shepherd and said to them, “Do not beafraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” The Christmas News is the best news on earth. It is the most joyful news the world hasever received. This joy is still fresh even in our world today. Christmas season remains the most joyful season. It is indeed a period of joyful celebration. People travel from far and near to celebrate with their loved ones during Christmas. Christmas is the Birth of Peace: At Christmas we are celebrating the birth of thePrince of Peace.
The prophet Isaiah 6:9 declares, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his nameshall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,The Prince of Peace.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the prince of peace and theLord of lords. He is the great One, the Son of the Most High God and the King of kings (Luke 1:32-33). At this Christmas season we need the Prince of peace in our families, we need himin our school and business centers, we need him in our marital life; we need him inour vocation, we need him in our country; we need him in all our journeys. In the book of Revelation 3:20, our Lord Jesus Christ assures us, “Behold, I standat the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Child of God, as you open thedoor of your heart, Jesus will surely come in.
He will restore peace in your life andin your family. And the joy and peace of Christmas remain with you both now and forever more! Happy Christmas from Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie of the Holy Spirit, OCD Fr. John Damian is the Proprietor of Orphanage of the Holy Spirit and theFounder of International Youth Empowerment and Rehabilitation Centre @Maryland Egoro Amede, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. Vanguard
Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie