By Rev. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu
Friday December 23, 2005
Everywhere you go at this time, all you hear people discussing is how they are planning to make it another enjoyable and memorable Christmas. Christmas shopping is still going on. People would be complaing that they had not complete their shopping yet. The kids are being taken this weekend to the mall to see Santa Claus and take pictures with him.
The stockings are up but they are being filled. The Christmas Tree has been decorated and the living room and the compound have been converted into a Christmas wonderland. The shelves have been stacked with Christmas candies and the fridge is full of ham, chickens, turkey , goat meat and beef for the Christmas Day feast. The Christmas greetings cards have started going out. Oh, it is such a lovely period to be alive and in good health and you literally see the delirium on every face. The Christmas fever has gripped all
Who would blame all these people ? I love Christmas too. It is the most exciting season for me. I love it. In Africa, Christmas often came even with its own remarkable weather ..The hazy atmosphere in the day and the dew, as we used to go singing carols in my boyhood days, partly spent in Bo.
At that time, the dew would fall at night , not quite like snow , covering the ground, but still atmospherically exciting too . You could see the dew literally falling and it was so beautiful , a part of Christmas. Other times, it would be moonlight , and it could be so sparkling and radiant that it would blanket the forests with beautiful shades and shadows. In Freetown, those were the moments for moonlight picnics .
In America, snow is so much part of Christmas that we look forward to a White Christmas every time. We have had some in New Jersey, times when it snowed on Christmas day , another splendid spectacle to behold . I love to sit back in my living room, Christmas carols playing , lights twinkling and the snow falling outside and turning the whole place beautifully white. And with the sweet and appetizing aromas of chicken and turkey sizzling in the oven, and the children enjoying their Christmas toys, nothing can beat the gladness and euphoria of Christmas.
But amidst all the burstle and enjoyment of the season, the true meaning of Christmas has still not dawned on the secular world. All the activities mentioned above would have been perfectly legitimate if they were done within the context of the true meaning of Christmas. I do not support preachers who want people not to enjoy some of the harmless Christmas fun and traditions. I think the kids , particularly , should have their fun with Santa Claus. It is all part of the drama of growing up. Many of the traditions of Christmas are not Biblical –Like the Christmas Tree , decking the hall and banisters with garlands and buntings and Santa Claus, but all could be used for a noble purpose if only we do not miss the true meaning of Christmas. Nobody would go to Hell for enjoying the above-mentioned fun and traditions of Christmas, once they keep sin out of it, like drunkenness, , adultery, fornication, etc. Healthily enjoyed within families , Christmas is legitimate .
However , it is time people placed Christmas in its true perspective. While it is legitimate to enjoy Christmas fun within families , it does not serve a good spiritual purpose for people to ignore the true meaning of Christmas. The days of ignorance God overlooked but now he demands men to come to a true understanding of the truth. Christmas is nothing and will ever remain empty, graceless, hollow and baseless without the one name that the secular world is trying so unsuccessfully to obliterate —JESUS CHRIST.
Yes, JESUS CHRIST IS CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS IS JESUS CHRIST. Without Jesus Christ, all our Christmas fun and excitement are worhless . The Prophet Isaiah foretold the meaning of Christmas when he said : “For unto us a child is born unto us a child is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders. ” ( Isaiah 9 :6 ) .And Luke proclaimed the meaning of Christmas with these immortal words : “For unto us is born today , in the city of David, a Saviour , who is Christ The Lord. “( Luke 2 : 11). “He will be great and will be called the son of the highest , and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David ” ( Luke 1 : 32 ).
Christmas is therefore the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour of this earth, who came to die on the cross to save all mankind from sin. Christmas is the celebration of the day that a child was born in the City of David who will give his life on the cross to make sure that everybody is redeemed from the curse of sin.
The epicentre of Christmas is Christ. It is not Santa Claus. Even when we maintain his tradition in the family, let us never forget to tell our kids the truth. that Santa is just a human creation and that Jesus Christ is the star and the Lord of Christmas. Whether delivered by Santa or not , their Christmas gifts are from God and not from any mythical figure. Santa is just a deliverer . The provider of all goodness is Jesus Christ , whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas.
This is what Christmas is all about …Jesus Christ and whatever we do during this season must be done within the context of the celebration of Jesus Christ . The world would become a better place the day this message is accepted and practised.
I wish everyone of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS. May Christ come to live in your hearts.