Many ways to love thy neighbour this Christmas

Christmas is here, finally. It is that annual fete when the whole world is enchanted by the beauty of festivity, love and sharing as they commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

That is according to those of the Christian faith, who derive the appellation from discipleship of Jesus.

Christmas itself means a lot of things to a lot of people.

Some people do not observe the holiday. But we are not going to argue about that, or make a theological case for or against Christmas as a practice and expression of the faith.

That is a debate for another day.

What is not in question is that this day means a lot to many people as a global holiday as people celebrate the festive season, winding down the year in preparation for another. Zimbabweans are no different.

Today we join the rest of the world in celebrating this holiday whose spirit imbues people from all walks of life regardless of faith, means or geography.

The common denominator for all the festivities is love.

People love and share on Christmas and this is underlined in a long tradition that derives from the birth of Jesus himself.

Two references are important: In John 3:16, the Bible tells us that God gave us His son out of love.

Reads the text: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In another reference, Jesus speaks of the centrality of love in the human communion (and law).

He was asked, according to Matthew 22v 4-40, which was the great commandment in the law?

He responded: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Further inquiry into the Holy book, and according to the Good News of Jesus, shows us that your neighbour is anyone that is in the community, regardless of status or the locality whence they come.

So, how does one love his neighbour?

The entreaty to love thy neighbour as thyself is actually deep and multifaceted.

There is the material aspect whereby we will have to eat and clothe ourselves and our neighbours. This is the most common  expression.

People will eat and drink and make merry.

Yet we have also to be spiritually caring, and remember the less privileged that we should not only provide with the material comfort but remember them in our prayers.

Good neighbourliness entails responsibility.

This is probably the most important thing to remember this Christmas.

So many a time, people do celebrate and make merry without due care as to how this merry-making could impact on the neighbour.

Think of the loud music, the honking cars and all the fights.

Worst of all, there are accidents that lead to loss of lives, all at the instance of wasteful and inconsiderate merry-making.

Each year so many lives are lost on the roads due to behaviours and attitudes exhibited in the prodigious merry-making of Christmas.

If people could learn to love their neighbours as themselves, we would not be witnessing these harmful sides of Christmas.

People would be responsible and be temperate in their enjoyment for the self and for the neighbour.

This would serve a dual purpose. Save us harm and also not harm others and relations with them. There is always a tomorrow. Let’s remember this as we celebrate Christmas today.

Source : The Herald

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