CHRISTMAS IS A GREAT CHURCH TRADITION

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Sunday Adole Jonah writes that the celebration of Christmas is in order

Everything comes around at Christmastime when everyone makes reflections and take stocks of the preceding year. The preceding year may not have turned out great, nonetheless this stock-taking is done with a full measure of jollity. For practicing Christians, this is the season of goodwill amongst men when they show love to everyone in the neighbourhood and most especially recall the message that can be learnt from the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christians, although this may not be too obvious to a lot of us, the birth of Jesus Christ was the beginning of a new calendar, an orderly chronology whereby every passing second is technically a Christmas because the whole idea about the universal anno domini (AD, in the year of Our Lord) timeline is counting to the very second the time that has passed since Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem.

Presently, we are 2,019 years removed from the moment Jesus Chris was born (on New Year Day we will be some 2,020 down that line), and although 2000-plus years is a miniscule time-frame on the geological-scale consideration it can be understood that this time-frame is such a long stretch for human life and societies that it does not surprise me that certain ones just can’t get the full grasp of the struggles of the early Church Fathers in order to build Christianity in all its ramifications like we know it today.

Thus, when the tradition of Christmas became a stable of Church doctrine and practice, those guardians of Church values really considered that a wonderful idea because, how do you close one year and prepare for the next without considering the reason for the existence of that year as folks know it? Basically, what is the meaning of the year 2020 (why not 3046 now?) if one does not reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and even celebrate his birth? I’m still wondering about those Christians who hate Christmas. This is strange to me. Really so, when non-Christians are even loving Christmastime.

The beauty of Christianity is the freedom of choice and will (remember, “what is bound on earth is also bound in heaven”) that this faith gives its adherents to promulgate precepts and traditions that promote wellness of the society and reflections on the goodness of the teachings of the faith. One such tradition of the Christian society I admire so much is the annual feast or holiday of Thanksgiving popular in the US; the essence of the Thanksgiving holiday cannot be disputed now and naysayers must not attempt to darken the mood of this celebration by always being quick to point out, “it is not in the Bible.” Well, the Bible did not explicitly tell us to do a primary, secondary, and tertiary education but, today, these layers of learning are termed “Western or Christian education” (so Christianised have these stages of learning been coloured that a serious anti-Christian religious prelature, the Boko Haram, exists solely to counter this system of education) and the society that does not invest in this education progression is usually backward.

In this vein, let no man attempt to dampen the spirit of Christmastime by pointing out that the Bible did not explicitly advise the celebration of Christmas; the Bible has left it to the Church fathers, then and now and into the future, to do things that are good for fellowship of the brethren and for the growth and wellbeing of society. If the Bible were to codify our ways of lives, Christians will be strapping on suicide vests today as they are faced with a fast-changing world that such Bible would not have prepared for. Instead, those suicide vests and their bombers have been used to terrorise Christians. Thus, let the bells jingles and toll, Christmas is here because for us and for our salvation a king is born.

Jonah is of Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State