I had written this with the intention of posting it around Christmastime but had to pause when some parts of Northern Nigeria were thrown into mourning on account of the heinous activities of some humans on fellow humans who had gone to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. But I believe this would still bless us.
As I drove around town last night and saw the beautifully decorated streets, I thought I felt the Christmas thingy. But somewhere at the corner of my mind was that nagging feeling of general insecurity across Nigeria.
There has been so much evil in the news these days that stories about Christmas are just able to make cameo appearances. If we are not hearing about bomb blasts, we are hearing about protests turned violent. What about the son who kills his father for money or the young man who hacks his wife to death. I’ll spare you more details so you don’t get irritated and stop reading. In spite of the fact that some not so pleasant events are competing for more attention than our yearly celebrations, we still won’t forget Christmas. We will put up the Christmas decorations, send greeting cards, give gifts and get new clothes for the children (some adults won’t be left out of this anyway). The social networking media has made life easier. We can easily send Christmas wishes to our friends with little effort.
In this midst of all this I asked myself if we would still have heightened excitements about Christmas if we did not see the Christmas lights and decorations and if we did not hear the classic Christmas carols. Would we still smell Christmas in the air without the Santa grotto or Christmas trees? I have heard it severally that Christmas is to be celebrated every day. Which part of Christmas is referred to when this is said -the associated celebrations, the true essence of it or the total experience? I actually wouldn’t mind the total experience. I’d love to have the opportunity to say once and again several times a year that Christmas is in the air.
Among other great truths, I believe Christmas tells of the coming of light to the world. Jesus said He is the light of the world. From the scriptures, we understand that the world is full of wickedness and darkness. Darkness naturally fills the earth. The evils we see around us represent the darkness that is resident in our world. Recently, I thought and I asked, “If you want to see what darkness really looks like and you shine the light on it, what would you see? Nothing I found out. Darkness disappears when light comes. No wonder there is no comprehension of light by darkness, because they can never mix. So, what does this mean? The only way I can deal with darkness is to shine the light. Yes, shine the light. In the New Year, I am going to shine the light. As long as I keep my light under the bushel, darkness will rule. Darkness would clothe my own world like the Mephistophelian blanket it is, if I do nothing with my light. I have to be courageous and always speak the truth and speak for the truth. I must get involved in my community, shining the light and not blending in.
We would complain less about the darkness around us as we shine our lights. It is not going to be you alone; I am with you in this. Surely, we can have more Christmases in the year not just filled with Christmas lights but with the light of Christ shining through us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.