This season, we have a choice to make: we can continue to celebrate the commercial Christmas that has been given us or we can return to the wellspring and the true meaning of this special day.
Be you Christian, Muslim or adherent of any other religious belief with a soul that yearns for peace, compassion and hope, Jesus Christ belongs to all of us. His teachings are universal in application and speak of truths eternal. He gave us so much, yet asked of us so little. He was born in meagre circumstance, yet rose to change the world for the better and to teach us all a better way.
At this moment, it is time for all Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians alike, to set aside the artificial differences that too often divide us and pit brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour. We must dedicate ourselves to focusing on our common humanity because we all seek much the same thing for ourselves and loved ones. We all eat, sleep, love, worry, lament, cry, laugh, smile, dream and hope. Yes, our names and religious beliefs differ; some go to church, some to mosque. Some to other places of worship; some, perhaps not at all. Yet, we all seek a better world and a better Nigeria.
We must not lament our circumstance. Instead, we must unite to overcome them. We must support and complement government’s efforts to stimulate the economy and put down the recession. We pray for peace throughout the land and support President Muhammadu Buhari in his determined strategy to fully break the terrorism of Boko Haram. We pray for the men in uniform who risk their lives to keep us safe and to end this scourge on the nation. I commend our troops battling the terrorists. I thank them again for their courage and bravery. We pray for those who have been dispossessed of their houses and home by the evil of these terrorists and pray that, in the New Year, they all will be able to return home and to begin their lives anew.
Yet, we must do more than pray. We all have something to give, something to contribute to the greater good. As Jesus gave of himself that we may live better, we must give of ourselves that others around us may have a better life and that this nation may breathe a new air of prosperity and hope. This is how we best celebrate Christmas by styling our words and actions, our very lives, on the life of the man after whom this day is named. There is no better gift that we can render and no greater profit that can be derived.