HOW CHRISTMAS SHOULD BE CELEBRATED
Over 2000 years ago, a virgin betrothed to a carpenter gave birth to a child, who had been promised by God to humanity from the day Adam lost to the serpent. During the wake of his birth, Three astrologers saw the star of this great king, which eventually led them to Bethlehem where he had been born.
The Astrologers foreseeing his glory, bow in reverence and with honour gifted him three uncommon gifts; Myrrh, Frankincense and Gold. All these, for the celebration of the birth of Emmanuel, the son of almighty God, who took on flesh to suffer the sins of the first man (Adam)
Every 25th of December has been personified as the Lord’s day, and as a day to celebrate his divine work of salvation which he came to do on earth. Jesus Christ, came to deliver us from the fangs of sins and death, he came to regain our freedom and dominion from the hands of the prince of the power of the air. In accomplishing this task, he was born as a mortal being through a mortal woman, he who was God, came in form of human for the propitiation of our sins.
Therefore, Christ believers, all across the globe, every year dedicate this day to celebrate his courage, love, and grace through which they were saved, and given opportunity to enjoy the agape love and eternal life.
In view of this, Christmas, has been described as a way to show appreciation to Jesus for his deeds on earth, and in heaven while he sits at the right hand of God, as an advocate for believers.
The Chairman, Bible Society of Nigeria, Oyo area Rev. John Abiolu Okinsipe affirmed that personally, Christmas should be celebrated as it is symbolic to reconciliation with God, noting that, the world had been estranged and alienated but the work of Jesus on earth brought the world back to God.
“I think it is something we should celebrate. We should celebrate Christmas having the mind of Christ, which is holiness. The reasons for the celebration is that this is a time which God chooses to reconcile the world to himself. Before the birth of Jesus Christ, the world had been estranged and alienated away from God. Satan had set the world in enmity against God, and that was the reason for our estrangement.”
When asked about the importance of money for the celebration of the Lord’s day, Rev. Adeolu ascertained that, “Celebration of this time does not call for money, it rather calls for appreciation of God with our heart. God does not ask anything from us. It will amount to ignorance if we perceive money as the apex ingredientto celebrate Christmas, no it’s not”
Using the opportunity to reaffirm his expectations for the year 2020, Rev. Adeolu said he would like to see increment in the numbers of genuine Christians rather than bench warmers “Today we have so many cathedral, few Christians. But come 2020, I would like Christians to multiply. There are many people in cathedral today with charms around their waists, people warming the benches, people who do not know who God is, and Church leaders who cannot stand for the truth, but in 2020, I am expecting to have more Christians that will gladden God in his Kingdom”
A young pastor, and son to the owner of one of the biggest churches in Ibadan, capital city of Oyo state, Christ Apostolic Church (Mountain of Power) Pastor Sam Olowere described Christmas has a remembrance of the greatest man that ever lived. He added that people celebrate the anniversary of the death of their late parent but refuse to celebrate Christmas; the day our saviour was born.
In his words “ some people celebrate their fathers and mothers who had died 10 or 15 years ago, but do not see the importance of celebrating the one who came to die for the world. I think people who do not celebrate this special day are ignorant of the salvation of Jesus to the world”
He continued by saying that irrespective of the date, Christmas should be celebrated all the time, and it should be a time where we emulate the character of Christ, noting that it is not the time to organize party or be exorbitant in spending but rather it should be a season to learn from Christ himself.
“Christ was birthed in a manger not a mansion. Christians should not be concerned about the exorbitant spending, rather Christ character should be emulated. He is humble, loyal, holy and righteous. These are the characters we should learn from Him”
When asked about his expectations for next year, the young and vibrant pastor said he desired that Christians should move closer to God. “Irrespective of what you are expecting to happen in the year 2020 or whatever happens in the year, believers should endeavor to have faith in God.”
We are in the season of Christmas, and this is noticeable in our appearance, decorations, countenances, and the seemingly cold weather. The government is not left out, as strategic places in cities and rural areas have been decorated with red and white colours; the Christmas colours. In the next few days, the birth of Jesus Christ will be celebrated all around the world. However, Christians have been admonished not to get carried away by the wining and dinning but rather focus on sober reflection on how their lives had and will represent Christ.