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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Christmas is for Christians

THE EDITOR: At the risk of sounding redundant, I emphatically state that the season of Christmas is distinctly a Christian event. It seems that we need to remind all and sundry that Christmas is for Christians.

There are celebrations for the different religious groups in our lovely rainbow society, but this must reflect distinctiveness, not inclusiveness. For while we respect and accommodate each other, there is need for us to appreciate and respect the differences.

Over the years, there seems to have been a merging of the views and values among streams of religious practice. Many point to the assimilation that historically occurred in the Siparia community – with a shared festival for Christians and non-Christians – but that should be considered an anomaly rather than a norm.

The uniqueness of each faith must be maintained in spite of the proximity and affinity that goes with living in the same community and breathing the same air.

Beyond that, there is a spiritual orientation that dictates that we maintain the purity and integrity of our different faiths.

While I recognise the diverse religious practices that have become a part of our cultural landscape, we need to respect the core spiritual ideals of the religions that make up our society. To do differently is to compromise the very essence of our existence as followers of different faiths.

The Christmas season comes as the last religious event for the calendar year, bringing with it the elements that are revered by Christians and respected by people of other religions.

But it is worth reminding Christians that we must maintain the purity of the purpose of the season in celebrating the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

The secularisation of this sacred season and the distortions of the truth regarding the significance of Christmas Day have clouded the real purpose of the occasion. To really celebrate Christmas is to know Christ.

Many have sung songs to “put Christ in our Christmas” amid the many festive renderings of parang and other forms of felicitous songs. The removal of Christ in Christmas results in plain “old mas.”

But it’s not about going back to the real reason for the season as many chose to say. It is not Christmas which has left us, it is we who have left the meaning of the season behind in our effort to share and share alike and to emphasise the festivity and not the nativity.

So it’s a reminder to us all that this sacred season is about Jesus Christ and not only about the business bargains. Discounts may be nice, but we cannot devalue Christmas to mere currency of coins and dollars. Instead we must embrace the utility of Christmas time as true Christians should and do.

While a few among us choose not to celebrate the season, it remains as it is – a recollection of the genesis of the salvation of mankind.

The true worth of the season is to celebrate the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Let all Christians arise and be true to this declaration.

Let us do the duty and live and love as the true message of the season. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I am calling it as it is. Christmas is for Christians. Let’s endeavour to keep it so.

APOSTLE TERRENCE HONORE

Palmiste San Fernando

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