It’s Christmas time again – our second one under this pandemic era – and we’re not off the hook yet from the lingering scourge of COVID-19 and its dreadful variants.
Inevitably so, just like last year, we’re but constrained to celebrate Christmas to the minimum and without a bang – no spectacular or grand celebrations but retaining the joyful peace, quiet, and simplicity which are the hallmark of the true meaning of Christmas, like the first one in Bethlehem.
Yes, even without the egregious pandemic, Christmas ought not stray away from the “ordinariness” of Christ’s birth.
I have two insightful points to share.
First, Jesus, our Lord, was born in a modest and simple way. He was born in a manger, not in a deluxe maternity hospital. In a humble manger, the first witnesses of his birth were simple shepherds and meek sheep. This is the humble truth of Jesus’ birth.
But in our contemporary celebration of Christmas, it is sad to note that we seem to dislodge the Baby Jesus from the manger and change the humble truth of Jesus’ birth.
Our modern-day Christmas conventionalities tend to displace or boot out the baby Jesus from the manger, change his swaddling clothes with expensive signature ones, then lay him into a Rolls Royce, and gleefully roll out to the party!
Amid our usual holiday bustle-and-bustle, God’s message of salvation is inconsistent with our fashionable Christmas bazaars and shopping sprees, the dizzying holiday parties and trips, the glaring lights and fireworks that negates the sordid suffering of those less fortunate, the jobless, and those whose income or livelihood has been curtailed because of the pandemic.
Second, during the first Christmas, Jesus was born in the “silence” of the night, as rightly described by the Christmas song, “Silent Night”.
But this is quite contrary to our present yuletide’s cacophony of fireworks, merrymaking or revelry.
It is important to remember that Jesus, the King of Peace, came in order that true peace (not just “silence”) will triumphantly reign in our world, in our hearts. For, inarguably, true or real peace emanates from our hearts, from within each and every one of us.
Peace ye, despite having our second Christmas under the continuing pandemic menace, it is wise to cling to the original meaning of the first Christmas, the birth of Christ in Bethlehem.
Have a simple, peaceful, profoundly meaningful Christmas to one and all!