Man is confronted with unrest on every side. His own self is against him tormenting him without peace of mind. Who will make him peaceful? All religions insist on peace as normal dimension of life.
Christmas proclaiming peace to all people
When Jesus was born the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people of good will”. (Luke 2: 14) Real meaning of Christmas lies in sharing, reconciliation and peaceful living.
How to achieve peace?
The essence of Christmas is deeply rooted in peace. True peace is not mere absence of war. It is well-being, righteousness, unconditional acceptance of one another, and recognition that all people are God’s children. Christmas is an invitation to follow this path of peace to let differences disappear and accept everyone as brother and sister. It is an occasion to repair broken bridges and to mend strained relationships. It is a call for peace to offer the hand of reconciliation, to sooth and comfort, and to heal the scars and wounds we have inflicted on each other.
All religions insist peace
Not only Christianity but all religions insist this goal of achieving peace. The Islamic greeting ‘Salam’ is another form of Biblical greeting ‘Shalom’ or peace. It also means submission to God. While offering peace to another we are actually surrendering to God. The Hindus and Buddhists say ‘Om Shanthi’ which means peace. Rig Veda says, “Let your aims be common, and your hearts of one accord and all of you be of one mind, so you may live well together” (Rig Veda 10.191.2-4). The Buddhists also wish ‘Om Shanthi’ with a three-fold surrender to the Buddha, the Sangha and Dharma.
Harmony is central to the theme of Christmas
The idea of harmony is central to the theme of Christmas- harmony in nature, among God’s creation. But we are currently witnessing an ever increasing exploitation, plundering and destruction of nature for selfish and greedy gains. We are becoming victims of increasingly vicious devastation of our environment: global warming, depletion of ozone layer, deforestation, pollution of rivers, increased use of landmines and chemical weapons. Violence against nature is violence against humanity as well as God. How can we expect harmony among in nature when we initiate to exploit it? How can we find peace if we are engaged in violence?
Let this Christmas be an occasion of peace
May this year’s Christmas be an occasion of real homage to the Prince of Peace born in Bethlehem with a message of peace. Let it not be a nightmare of the householder and the feast of the merchant. Let it not once again be an occasion of falling prey to lucrative commercial enterprises and marketing strategies. Let not this ‘Silent Night’ become a big noisy bash. Let it be an occasion of sharing and an occasion of peace.
Living the memorable moments of ‘the First Christmas’
In order to recapture the essence of Christmas, we need to re-examine ourselves and turn to ‘the Silent Night’ of the first Christmas. A Christmas celebration that is less crowded and more rooted in re-living the memorable moments of the first Christmas will be sure recipe to make our Christmas more meaningful.