Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Some random thoughts on Christmas 2008

Christmas day has just passed. People around the world would have seen this day in different lights. Christmas often means different things to different people. Some people celebrate Christmas purely a holiday season, some people like to spend their time with their love ones while others celebrate this day as a religious day.

Being different from many other Christians, I do not celebrate Christmas as the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible never stated that Christ was born on Christmas day. Far from it, the Bible indicated that it could not have been on Christmas day. Some historians reckon that Christ was probably born sometime between March, April or May. Without going too deeply into discussion this, I would simply like to point out that the Bible emphasised on Christ's death and resurrection, but never His birth.

But while the world celebrated, it also gave me the opportunity to think about what has become of this world and humanity in general. Christ came to bring us hope and salvation. He also came to teach us about love one another and yet what we see today are wars and rumours of wars. What we constantly witness on news and current affairs are often filled with reports of crimes, misdemeanors and misadventures. Human morality and humanity have sunk to all time low. I think we have truly disappointed our Lord Jesus. His teachings were utterly forgotten and abandoned.

Christmas is a good time to reflect what we have done throughout the year. Perhaps part of Christmas is truly to share some precious moments with our love ones, to right some wrongs, to ask for forgiveness and to set new course of direction in our lives.

Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, as usual, delivered her message to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth during this Christmas.

One part of her message gelled with my thoughts:

The Queen said of the current financial crisis and what is happening around the globe, "in such times as these we can all learn some lessons from the past. We might begin to see things in a new perspective and certainly we being to ask ourselves we it is that we can find lasting happiness. Over the years those who have have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives. The kind of people who are generous with their talents or their times."

Strangely enough, the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also delivered an alternate message to rival Queen Elizabeth II's annual address. It is easy to dismiss his message altogether, but interestingly I have found some small truth (yes, some, but not a lot) in his message, the part where he mentioned what Christ would like us to do - to love one another, to take care rather than to oppress the less fortunate.

This year has been an interesting year. As the financial crisis deepens, the world spirals into more conflicts in the middle east, South Asia between India and Pakistan, the ongoing conflict and violence in Afghanistan, I truly hope and pray that we Christian would step up and live a life that is different from the world. We must show God's love to other. We must go forth and be the light and the salt of this world. Let us pray that we will be found worthy of God's use for His work in 2009 and beyond till Jesus returns.

May you have a blessed New Year and a fruitful 2009.

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