“And all of this happened
Because the world is waiting
Waiting for one child
Black, white, yellow, no one knows
But a child that would grow up and turn tears to
Hate to love, war to peace
And everyone to everyone’s neighbour
Misery and suffering would be forgotten forever”
Thus goes the lyrics of the beautiful Christmas carol “When a child is born”. It embodies the message of Isaiah 9:6.
On Christmas day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, this amazing child who would change the course of history with His teaching. As Christmas draws nearby, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping, preparations and general merrymaking. Yet, Christmas means much more than these materialistic trappings; it is a time to reflect, a time to give and a time to reconcile.
Maybe Christmas is all about reconciliation. I think I first heard the word from the lines of a carol-“peace on Earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled”. As the lyrics imply, it’s a time to renew our strained relationships with God; to return to His unconditional love; to thank him for sending His only begotten son for our salvation.
The story of Christmas has been told many a times over, be it through dramas, carols or paintings. Being in Sri Lanka, the soothing tunes of “kalakata pera e Bethleheme”, “Rajathi Rajamani” or “Silent night” pleases our ears alike. Yet the message of the story eludes most. To me, it is about the importance of a humble heart. He wasn’t born in a palace full of riches; a manger was his crib. It wasn’t the kings who received the news of his birth first; the angels sung it to poor shepherds who kept watch on their flocks.
May the prince of peace be born in your heart this Christmas! The beautiful prayer of Saint Francis (listen) seems to be an apt ending at this juncture as it invites us to be an instrument of our Lord’s peace-not only this Christmas, but in each and every moment we live.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
ඔබ සැමට සාමය සතුට පිරි සුභ නත්තලක් වේවා! இனிய கிறிஸ்துமஸ் நாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்! Merry Christmas!