Christmas is a time –– for all the mostly wild shopping, gift exchanging, feasting and drinking socially and communally, and feting –– when we yet yearn for that “peace on Earth and goodwill towards men”.
Christmas is the time when we rekindle those barely smouldering embers of friendship and kinship, giving them fresh meaning, stirring deeper warmth and luminescent joy in our lives.
It matters not whether we live in the villages, terraces or heights –– or on the beaches, or nowhere really.
Even the arrogant among us will spare a moment in thought at this time for the less fortunate, furthermore those of us who gather regularly in fellowship, ever mindful of our fellow men and fellow women stricken by distress and dire straits, loneliness,
or separation from loved ones.
Christmas underscores the point that true generosity endures, reaching beyond kith and kin, and outside our own communities, extending to the strangers without our gates and to those
who would remain outsiders, through the love taught by Jesus, whose birth we celebrate tomorrow Friday, December 25.
Christmas too is a time to reflect on what joins us at the hips, as family members, as neighbours, as fellow citizens, as human beings, who we all ultimately are. The message of Christmas, as told in the Jesus story, calls on us to care for one another and to be our brother’s keeper.
If we can take heed of these lessons and implement them in thought and deed beyond Christmas Day, we would see fewer conflicts and deaths by wild shooting. As Anglican Bishop Dr John Holder has suggested, we might seek to restore peace where the conditions are full of conflict and tension, as “we are called to be instruments of God’s peace”.
Says Bishop Holder: “This is the greatest gift you can share at this time.”
We humbly add this gift can be even more meaningful and beneficial given as well throughout the New Year 2016.
We are naturally appreciative of the good deeds of the social groups and individuals who have been voluntarily delighting our children, have been giving a boost to the disabled, and have been drawning smiles of gratefulness from our aged. But we would wish that the kindness could be carried through into the New Year
and the rest of it.
Christmas may be a season; but not kindness.
The religious leader and author Thomas S. Monson reminds us that Christmas “is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values”.
When we ponder upon the command of a grown Jesus that we ought to love our neighours as ourselves always, we can hardly confine the spirit of giving merely to Christmas. We had better made it our springboard to continuous kindness.
May the joys of giving, loving and being loved extend well into the New Year.
Our best wishes for Christmas to the Barbados TODAY family and friends, and all others.