Christmas is in the air! So is shopping, fun, and frolic. Apart from the few hours spent in the church on the eve, for majority of the Christmas celebrators, the rest of the time is all about gifts, get-togethers and parties. In a world reeling with excess in everything, it might be of some help if ask a few fundamental questions about this festival and the way we celebrate it.
First of all, why do we celebrate Christmas?
Because it is the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus Christ?
A Messiah, a spiritual giant, Man among men, Son of God…
That is fine. But why should ‘we’ celebrate His birthday?
Because we love Him.
Why do we love Him?
Because He loved us.
How did He love us?
By showing humanity that God is Love, and not Power; by forgiving , blessing, and thereby showing us the way of compassion from His Cross; and by living His life as His message.
Indeed His birth is a Gift to humanity and a milestone in the history of religion and philosophy. But how does this all relate to the way we are celebrating Christmas? Love, compassion, and forgiveness – these are the corner stones of Christ’s teachings. Where and how are they reflected in the way we celebrate Christmas in present times? I am not a sober person. I love to play and have fun. But if fun and frolic are related to a certain event, then it is only sensible that the spirit of that particular event be integrated into our celebrations. While shopping for Christmas, also buy a pair of shoes or a sweater for the old man begging in the street you daily pass by…. Or end a cold war (or a war of words) and say hello to a friend or a colleague with whom you fell apart…. Or go to an orphanage or an old age home and lunch with them; if you can sing, then sing to them…. In short, try to imitate Christ. That is, extend your heart to everyone, without measuring or judging, who cross your path. By doing this, we go beyond the symbolisms of festivals. We take the event to a higher level where it is more meaningful and satisfying. Every time you are compassionate, Christ is born. Each time you forgive, you are reciprocating His love. When you celebrate in spirit, it is Christmas every day. (And you can push the shopping and partying part to the end of the year!)
Merry Christmas !