As Christmas approaches this year, as has been the case, we return to the vital importance of reflecting on the true significance of this day.
Even as I feel fortunate to be with my loved ones this Christmas I feel compelled to heed the call of Baby Jesus, encouraging me to delve deeper into the core values that define this season, values that extend beyond family and touch the hearts of all humanity and echo across the universal skies.
Christmas is a time of giving, the most precious gifts of all being love and care. It is a season when we should open our hearts wide and embrace the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others, our closest family members and the strangest of strangers alike.
Let’s start small. For instance let’s ensure that a simple greeting of “Merry Christmas”, is filled with sincerity. Let us remind ourselves all over again that a simple act of giving, whether through kindness, charitable donations, or volunteering, can have a profound impact on both the giver and the receiver.
As we gather with our loved ones and celebrate the joys of the season, let us also remember to reach out to those who may be feeling lonely, isolated, or in need of support, in particular those who have suffered and continue to suffer terrible deprivations on account of war, subjugation, pillage and other terrible crimes against humanity.
Christmas is an opportunity to be a beacon of hope and a source of comfort for those who may be going through difficult times. Let us do our best to make sure that no one feels abandoned, no one feels helpless and hopeless. The song goes, ‘If Christ died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.’ We don’t have to die. Neither need to kill. We can lend a hand, give a smile, open the doors of our homes and hearts to those who have suffered the most terrible bludgeoning announced as punishment for crimes they never committed.
In the quiet moments of reflection that Christmas affords us, let us ask ourselves how we can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Let the Christmas tree that shines bright in our homes shine even brighter in our hearts and fill it with the light the world deserves. Let the Crib of Baby Jesus remind us of the warmth that endured in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago during that cold night when the Prince of Peace was born to this world.
We can do much but not everyone can or will. Nevertheless all of us, without exception, can do some small thing — it will make a difference. The bottom line is, I feel, it would be immoral to do nothing. So the ‘something’ that we can and would do: it will give meaning to Christmas.
To all of you and beyond, Merry Christmas!
Krishantha Prasad Cooray