CHRISTMAS IS STILL HERE | THIS DAY
There is hope in the season of love, writes Sonnie Ekwowusi
Two days ago, I went to the dry cleaners to submit clothes to the dry cleaners. No sooner had I been taken care of when a teenage girl entered the store. On her head she carried a load of neatly packed matching lady’s clothes which she had obviously brought for the dry cleaning as well. “Hello aunt, my mother sent me to bring you these clothes for the dry cleaning. She said she wanted to get the clothes back before Christmas because she wanted to use them for Christmas,” the girl said. looking innocent. “Okay from your mom? Wait, but I thought you weren’t Christians? Are you celebrating Christmas?” the attendant asked. “Don’t mind them, they do. They do. They all celebrate Christmas. They pretend not to. But they do. Everyone celebrates Christmas, “retorted another maid who was in the inner room sorting through the customers’ clothes.
I left the dry cleaning shop, meditating on the words of the second attendant, “Everyone celebrates Christmas”. She was right. Christmas is the most celebrated religious holiday in the world. The popularity of Christmas is growing day by day. Whether or not they accept the Christian theological beliefs that underpin the celebration of Christmas, most people across the world are delighted with the magnificent allure of Christmas even though outwardly they may not show it or are forbidden by it. State not to show it. For example, in the past, the public celebration of Christmas was banned in Saudi Arabia. But the celebration of Christmas in Riyadh right now, to the delight of expats and Saudi citizens alike, is nothing short of phenomenal. Firstly, unlike in the past, most stores in Riyadh are currently fully stocked with traditional Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas cribs, special festoons, rosettes, etc. Christmas shoppers could be seen walking in and out of stores buying all kinds of goodies as they liked. The questions today are: what is driving this change in Saudi Arabia? Is this a sign that times are changing? Well, time will tell. Remember that women are now allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia, which was unthinkable in the past.
Unfortunately, the essence of Christmas is continually being reduced or deconstructed. While some see Christmas as a kind of religious interlude for family reunions; house decorations; exchange of gifts; singing Christmas carols, others see Christmas as a time to revel in the orgy of self-deification, wayward spending, and militant consumerism. Instead of seeking joy in the true sense of Christmas, these people seek joy in drunken orgy and pleasure without caring about those famous words of Saint Augustine: “Lord, you make man take pleasure in you. praise, because you made us, and our heart is restless until it rests in you ”. In many parts of the West, Christmas now bears the colors of a new paganism, a new secularism and a post-Christian culture: Christmas is understood as a simple celebration. Three weeks ago, an internal European Union (EU) communication document was released to the public. In the document, the EU had proposed to abolish Christmas by replacing the word Christmas with the so-called inclusive term “holiday season”. The document also proposed that religious names such as “Mary” and “John” and other similar names should no longer be used.
It’s not surprising. The EU is anti-God and anti-religion. There are some who live and behave as if God is not going to call them to account someday. Regardless, in response to the EU’s attempts to paganize, secularize and satanize Christmas, Pope Francis said the EU’s efforts to abolish God and abolish Christmas result from an approach ” watered down ”of Christianity that has failed throughout history. “The European Union must embrace the ideals of the founding fathers, which were ideals of unity, of greatness, and be careful not to pave the way for ideological colonization,” Pope Francis said. In the face of a public outcry over his satanic agenda, in particular Pope Francis’ reaction to it, the EU was forced to withdraw the aforementioned document calling it “work in progress” and promising in a tweet to publish a “version update “of the document.
Either way, EU or not EU, the essence of Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity. At Christmas we are invited to relive this deepest mystery that took place over 2,000 years ago when God took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was born in a relatively humble city of David called Bethlehem. At Christmas we are invited to reproduce the life of Christ in our individual lives. Pope Francis urges everyone to make a concrete commitment during this Christmas, however small, to visit the sick, the lonely, the needy, the elderly and to pay attention to the poor. He also advised that the Christmas spirit is best lived by asking forgiveness from others, granting forgiveness, asking for clarification, and paying off debt.
Considering that Nigeria now faces the most dangerous existential threat since its independence, President Buhari should be aware of his constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property. At this moment, life has lost its meaning in Nigeria. The North continues to falter on the brink of final collapse. Boiled in anger at the unprecedented massacre of human beings in the North, some young people in the North organized a peaceful protest last week urging President Buhari perhaps for the umpteenth time that his primary constitutional responsibility is to protect life and citizens’ property. When a government has failed to protect the lives and property of citizens, that indicates that government has failed miserably.
All in all, no matter what is going on in the sun, you can’t get enough of it. You must not give in to despair. Everything can seem to fall apart. Omicron may appear to have the highest number of human casualties. The government can be irresponsible. Poverty could cripple Nigeria completely. Your livelihood can be destroyed. Your bank account may be emptied of its money. You may be failing in health. Your loved one or your gentle heart may have passed away. But nothing is gained by succumbing to melancholy. It is true that we live in a sad world, and that many men and women of our time have stopped smiling. Take comfort in the good news that has been brought to us. Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was born among us. So keep hope. Hope is our greatest asset. We stop living when we stop hoping. We stop hoping when we give in to despair. We give in to despair when we stop smiling. So wipe the tears from your eyes. Do not Cry. Although we live in a sad world, you need to regain our laughter and our sense of humor. With our laughter we can challenge the sad world to look at us and have hope
This column sings the Nunc Dimittis today as it continues through the Christmas holidays to return, God willing, in January 2022. Thank you for your company in this tireless work of cladding the public square in the nude. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.