By BOBSON GBINIJE
“THAT man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything
From their uncertain events of the future”
ANATOLE FRANCE (1844-1924) Procurator of Judea
The reason for the Christmas season is the commemoration of the glorious birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ. Although, the exact date of His birth remains an issue of great scholastic saber-rattling, one infallible truth that stands with unshakeable firmness is that Christ is the immaculate quintessence of love. The commemoration of his birth is supposed to be a season of spiritual and physical retreat for stocking about how well we have lived a Christ-like life.
The synoptic and hedonistic zeitgeist that has now become the idiosyncratic concomitant of Christmas celebrants redounds to the pasteurized truism that, the monolithic spiritual epiphany of Christmas is now sunken in the quagmire of Dionysian exuberance. Hence the Greek philosopher Socrates said in his “PLUTARACH” that “bad men live that they may eat and drink, where as good men eat and drink that they may live”. The bacchanalian debauchery during Christmas season is morally nauseating.
The penumbra of darkness enshrining the subject of “Christmas Day” is further silhouetted by the avalanche and pyrotechnic of lies unleashed by religious harlequins. One school of thought said in the Encyclopedia American that “the reason for establishing December 25 as Christmas day is somewhat obscure, but it is usually held that the day was chosen to correspond to the pagan festivals that took place to celebrate the birth of the sun. The Roman saturnalia (a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture and to the renewed power of the sun). Some Christmas customs are thought to be rooted in this ancient pagan celebration.
All this not withstand, the concern of this writer is the ghoulish way and manner in which Nigerians and nay the people of the world celebrate Christmas with prodigal intemperance and saturnalian revelry. There is no concern for the spirit of truth, peace, honesty and love, attributes that constitute the hallmark of Christ’s life. How can one explain a situation where through random sampling our President, 52% of our legislators, 49% of our Governors, 50% of our Ministers, 50% of our local government chairmen, 60% of our councilors, 25% of our commissioners and 52% of Nigerians are Christians.
Yet we still luxuriate in corruption of monumental proportion. Christians are cocooned in filthy lucre, homosexuality, and sodomy, grotesque terpsichorean fits in places of worship, assassinations, kidnappings, bribery and corruption, cultism, depraved economic and political prebendalistic graft. Which Christ are we celebrating? Which God are we celebrating? Which Holy Spirit are we celebrating? How can we truly be celebrating Christmas when we walk past dead bodies, lepers the poor and needy without batting an eyelid and sparing a through for them. Adam Smith posits that “no society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part, of the members are poor and miserable.
Christ admonished us to strive for the lofty and high ideals of a noble conscience and humanism, and that life is not all about money! money!! money!!! But about lifting up mankind, about sacrificing our lives to lift up mankind, about being Christ-like in conduct, about sparing a thought for the poor and about giving generously to mankind. Our churches, ecclesiastical hierarchy and Christmas alike, have made a very little impact on the moral growth of society because, they build their church close to St. Peter and yet worship at the gates of hell. A symphony of lunacy.
Christmas is not a season for jejune insipidity in spiritual matters. It is not a period for perfidious and Machiavellian disingenuousness. It is a period for our leaders and the citizenry at large to heighten the vibrancy of our cerebral virtuosity and eviscerate pragmatic solutions to the problems of mankind by being sober and musing on how, why and what Christ lived for. We must desist from walking, dancing strutting and drinking from the frills and thrills of libertines. Jesus Christ is love and all our utterances and actions should be propelled by love.
We must realize and be ever conscious; of the fact that life is fugacious and ephemeral. It is volatile and evanescent. We must walk steadfastly with humility and fear of God, for no condition is permanent and nobody knows tomorrow. Hence, essayist and poet, Matthew Arnold said “….for we are all like swimmers in the sea, poised on the top of hunge wave of fate, which hangs uncertain to which side to fall. And whether it will roll us out to sea to the deep wave of death, we known not and no search will make us know: only the event will teach us in its hour”. Therefore we must live for Christ and in Christ Jesus by serving mankind in truth and love.
Finally, we must see the world as one big philharmonic and symphony orchestra in which we are all players and so long as we pick our tunes man and keys right, the musical configurations and rhythms will be melodious. But once one or two players degenerate to a discordant tone, the whole graceful symmetry and grandiose sublimity of the rhythm will precipitate a symphony of lunacy with no granule and scintilla of integrity in it. Let us celebrate Christmas by sparing a thought for the poor as Christ did and not saturnalian debauchery. HAPPY CHRISTMAS