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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So, we are here and that special day of the Christ child is upon us! However, you may say, "So what's new about it? Isn't this the same, year in year out?" You can go on to say that the very meaning of Christmas isn't there anymore, or you could also wonder what the heck is the meaning of Christmas in the very situation of today's world?...

Those are good questions and there are certainly no easy answers. The situations that have already affected the world's economy and society at large does not give much justice to the words 'Merry' or 'Happy' that precedes the Christmas greeting. So, where do I even start? Perhaps with this one...

The profound clip from Peanuts is the starting point to our Christian appreciation towards the real understanding of Christmas and why it still matters to us today. It is a starting point that speaks of the 'mystery' and wonder of God's presence and activity in our world, a world that seems to be trying hard not to have anything to do with Him. In our race towards technological and scientific advancement, the trend towards being more rationalist that calls for rigorous proofs is the order of the day. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not anti-science. I am a computer science graduate and I know how science and faith can really work hand-in-hand to produce great and wonderful creations that move humanity towards a better life. It is a question of the sense within us of the openness to the mystery and wonder that is all around.

It is this sense that allows us to enquire and see the wonders that is beyond rational but not necessarily nonsensical. Today, we tend to inoculate our senses and yes, our children too, against that sense of mystery, awe and wonder that is necessary to accept the gift of faith in the first place. Our way of catechising in our Sunday classes have the unfortunate tendency of focusing on reasoning about God, using methods that favors the mind more than the heart. For the adult formation, it may also include archaeological finds, anthropological examinations and scientific argumentation. An interesting article here shows what it means to 'see' God and why Christmas is still relevant.

Whatever your own take is about Christmas, it cannot be denied that this celebration continues to be a lightning rod of religious and civil matters which provokes all sorts of reaction. Many, I am afraid, would be like those dwarfs in C.S. Lewis' Last Battle, the seventh and last of the Narnia Chronicles series, who have become cynical and kept themselves from seeing the truth (about the real Narnia), thereby placing themselves in a position to receive no help from anyone (even Aslan).

As I end this Christmas pilgrimage which started with the 'mystery' of the Christ child, I thank you all for your patient generosity in allowing me to ramble on for this long, and all your Christmas greetings too! Do have a peaceful and joyful Happy Christmas and may your New Year be blessed and fruitful!

(a larger view of the pic is here)


Anonymous said...

Oh what a coincidence! I was just hunting around for a dvd of A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Blessed Christmas and enjoy your Christmas break (before the exams... hur hur hur... :P )!

Unknown said...

there you go! now you know which to get :-D merry x'mas and a blessed new year to you!

Distant feet said...

i love christmas. My creator has a way of granting my wishes on christmas season. Some are sad and some are just overwhelmingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Blessed Christmas season! God bless our New Year... yeeaaah... half more year... :O)
The link is right after the video clip. (Means you gotta watch it till the end... ;p)

- Alf


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