TODAY, December 25, is a day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our best example of love for God and mankind. It is also Friday, a day we, at Vanguard Editorial Board, publish tributes to accomplished personalities. This editorial, therefore, stands as a tribute to Jesus.
Also, whenever Christmas day falls on a Sunday, Christians rejoice more because Sunday is a holy day. Today, Friday, is also a holy day for our Moslem brothers and sisters. It is indeed a restatement of the cooperation and love that should exist among Christians and Moslems.
Historically, the birth of Jesus is regarded as a blessing to mankind. Part of that significance is reflected in our dating system; Anno Domini, AD, (The year of our Lord) and BC (Before Christ) which the Greek Monk, Dionysius Exiguus (470-544 AD) who lived in Rome invented, and it was widely accepted.
Later, the Gregorian calendar which uses BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) was introduced by a world that wishes not to offend non-Christians. Encyclopedia Britannica describes Jesus Christ as “a Jewish religious leader who became a central figure in Christianity, regarded by most Christian branches as God himself. He is also considered an important prophet in Muslim tradition and the precursor of Prophet Muhammad.”
With love, Jesus conquered the world and the insoluble dark conundrum of evils that shackled it. And that victory is available today to everyone that would follow the example of Jesus in treating others and God with love.
According to some philosophers, the fact that the concept of eternal life is embedded in human’s consciousness and aspirations shows that eternal life exists somewhere. Christians believe that Jesus obtained the key to eternal life in God’s Kingdom for all mankind that believe in Him. Biblically, the Kingdom of God is a place or state without the problems of life – worries, pains, death, etc. If such a state is achievable, it is love only, as practiced by Jesus, that can achieve it. This is why love is central to the life of Jesus and to Christmas.
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In Mathew 22: 34-40, a lawyer asked Jesus a question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law (of God)?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
That summarises the essence of all benevolent religions, piety and human endeavours to be good. Without the kind of love Jesus practiced, the world would have still been under the clutches of impregnable moral darkness.
If every one of us practices that love, we can guarantee that many, if not all the problems of this world, will be eradicated. And a world without those malaises can somewhat approximate the biblical Kingdom of God.
Near the end of his life, Napoleon Bonaparte, after a deep reflection, ruefully concluded: “Alexander, César, Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon sheer force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love….”
It is instructive that all empires founded upon force ultimately collapses. But “of his kingdom, there will be no end”, says the scripture in Luke 1:33. Today, we are all witnesses to the fulfilment of that prophecy.
Christmas, therefore, is about love, and Jesus Christ is that love. Let us, therefore, practice that love as exemplified by Christ, not only during Christmas, but at all times. From all of us at Vanguard, we wish you a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.