It’s the season to be jolly!
I totally understand if we may not all feel this way.
Against the backdrop of our difficult economic situation many Jamaicans are finding it hard to see the festivity in the season. It has been a rough year for all of us, but let this not blind you to the virtue and meaning of Christmas. We must not allow our challenges to weigh down our spirit and cloud our optimism and compromise our humanity.
Christmas is a time to gather those nearest and dearest, our families and friends. To reflect on the year past and give thanks that we survived, that our lives have been spared and that we can fellowship with our loved ones. It is the occasion for all Jamaicans from all walks of life to come together in appreciation of our most beautiful and blessed country. It is also a time when we look forward with hope, that while our condition now is challenging, things will get better. God sent his Son to us as the Messiah to enlighten the world and show us the way to peace. This is the essence of Christmas.
The story of the Nativity tells us that Jesus was born in a time of great social and economic hardship for the people – just as in Jamaica. He was born into poor circumstances – as are many Jamaicans. The lesson is that Christmas is not about wealth, it’s not about possessions, and we don’t have to be rich to celebrate the true meaning of the season.
If the Saviour of the World can be born in a stable:
• then in the midst of hardship and despair there can be hope,
• then our humanity doesn’t depend on our income.
Christmas is the time when we become less consumed by our worldly trappings, or the millstones of our earthly desires, or the grip of our vices. It is a time when we give of ourselves as human beings, with generosity, love, and peace. It is a time when we recommit to follow the examples of Jesus Christ and strive to be better human beings.
Let us pray this Christmas to become instruments of peace.
Where there is hatred, let us show love;
Where we have been injured, let us forgive;
Where there is discord, let us work towards harmony;
Where there is error, let us search for the truth;
Where there is doubt, let us have faith;
Where there is despair, let us hold on to hope;
Where there is darkness, let our humanity shine light;
And where there is sadness, lift a joyous noise.
Let us not, even with our great needs, seek so much for ourselves to be loved, fed, consoled and understood, but to seek also for our neighbours welfare and to share what little we have with them. For it is in giving that we receive and are made richer in blessings.
From Juliet, Adam, Matthew and myself – my family to yours, I want to wish for a happy and peaceful Christmas season. God Bless.