It is always heartwarming and reassuring as year goes by to know that another Christmas holidays and festivities would arrive for us to lay down our tools for awhile and spend quality time with loved ones, family and friends.
In that regard the forthcoming 2017 Christmas season is no exception.
However, on another dimension this coming Christmas time seems and feels different.
Why am I saying so?
Our world is experiencing so many troubles including resumed tension between Israel and its Palestinian neighbours.
There has been escalating bellicose talk on potential nuclear war in the Korean Peninsula between DPRK, the United States and its south-east Asian allies.
The world has witnessed the displacement of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
The protracted Syrian conflict, the barbaric destruction of lives and property by Islamic State and its affiliate fundamentalist organisations, instabilities and conflicts in many African countries have continued this year.
At home, the country has suffered a number of terrorist incidences in major cities. Britain continues to experience many uncertainties, in regards to the Brexit negotiations and our future relationship with Europe.
In the midst of these troubled times, comes Christmas, the annual refreshing break, and time of giving and receiving.
All over the world, Christmas has become synonymous to showing love and affection to family and friends through giving and receiving gifts.
Yes, the true meaning of Christmas is God, the creator of the universe giving his best, the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ to all humankind.
God at Christmas offered every person an opportunity for reconciliation and making peace with Him, as our loving Heavenly Father and with each other.
The announcement of the Angels to the shepherds who were watching their flock by night was “Don’t be afraid!” he said.
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:10-11 NLT).
Friends, Christmas brings good tidings of great joy to all mankind.
From those living in conflict and war torn countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, South Sudan and other fighting African countries.
Christmas is a time of hope and opportunity for renewal to both the materially-decadent westerner and the materially-deprived southerner, living in different sides of the wide living conditions chasm that exists between the North and Southern Hemispheres.
The Angels declared to the whole world “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased”. (Luke 10:14)
Finally, to everyone seeking for peace and change, my message to you at this important season is open your heart to the Prince of Peace.
The feuding and warring parties should stop and embrace the peace that Christmas bring.
Let those with power exercise restraint in advocating for war and welcome the Prince of Peace into our hearts, communities and nations.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and peace-filled living in 2018!