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WISDOM OF THE WEEK

Christmas: celebrations beyond materialism

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2023 | 12:06 AM
In this 2020 photo a child kneels at a nativity scene prior to a morning Christmas Mass at the Rosebank Catholic Church in Johannesburg.
In this 2020 photo a child kneels at a nativity scene prior to a morning Christmas Mass at the Rosebank Catholic Church in Johannesburg.

As the holiday season is upon us, the world prepares for the enchanting festivities of Christmas. Beyond the glittering lights, jingling bells, carols, Santa Claus, family dinners, and the anticipation of gifts, lies the profound spiritual meaning of this celebration — the commemoration of the birth and life of Jesus Christ.

Amid the hustle and bustle of modern Christmas traditions, it is essential to reflect on the true essence of this occasion. Imagine being at your birthday party only to find that no one at your party is paying you attention but busy with each other!

HAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?

For many, this question conjures images of material desires and coveted gifts. Is it just about buying new appliances, putting up trees, cooking big dinners, and attending parties? Delving into the essence of Christmas reveals a deeper purpose that transcends the tangible.

Christmas, at its core, is a celebration of love, humility, courage, divinity, and purity embodied by Jesus Christ. It beckons individuals to pause and reflect on the life and teachings of the central figure of this festivity. Amid the lavish decorations and joyous gatherings, there lies an opportunity for spiritual introspection.

The Christmas season serves as a reminder to reconnect with the divine and appreciate the qualities exemplified by Christ. In a world where consumerism often takes precedence during the holiday season, maintaining a spiritual connection with the essence of Christmas becomes crucial. The exchange of gifts and the joy of giving are meaningful practices, but they should not overshadow the true gift already given - the life and teachings of Christ.

EMBODY CHRIST

As we approach this year’s Christmas season, let us strive to make the celebration more about embodying the teachings of Christ in our daily lives. Love, forgiveness, and compassion should not be confined to only the holiday season but should permeate our interactions throughout the year, through our actions, behaviour, relationships, and attitude. Expressing gratitude and kindness during Christmas is commendable, but the impact is amplified when these virtues become an inseparable part of our lives.

The true purpose of remembering Christ’s life is diluted if the celebration merely translates into a short-lived annual endeavour. Instead, let the Christmas season be a catalyst for lasting change, prompting us to strive for a Christ-like existence throughout the entire year. In essence, the true celebration of Christmas challenges us to move beyond fleeting desires and embrace a deeper connection with the divine. By infusing our lives with love, kindness, and divinity, we honour the true spirit of Christmas and carry its significance into the coming year.

Courtesy: Rajyoga Meditation Center, Kingston (meditation courses and counselling are offered free of charge). Email: kingston@jm.brahmakumaris.org. Or follow them on Instagram: rajyoga_meditation_jamaica