Celebrating Christmas in peace and harmony

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Friday is December 25, and Christians all over the world including those in The Gambia will celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ in peace and harmony.

Christmas is a day of joy and thanksgiving, as it is the day God Almighty did send the promised Messiah who became the saviour of the world, preaching the Word of God and sacrificing his life to save mankind from sin.

It is a day of thanksgiving to God whose power is recognised and honoured for giving the world a saviour of mankind.

He was a child born to a virgin and without any biological or earthly father, which has been the biggest mystery of all ages, hence honoured by religious scriptures, Christians and non-Christians alike.

According to various scriptures, an angel of the Lord did appear unto the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce the good tidings that she was to conceive and bring forth a child, whom she was to call Emmanuel meaning God with us.

Being a virgin, she could not understand the message. She questioned, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me?”

The angel answered that the truth of the message was linked to God’s omnipotence for whom all things are possible. The child was born and named Jesus as was foretold.

He was to preach in childhood and perform many miracles, including making the blind see, curing lepers, driving out unclean spirits, stopping the waves of the sea, feeding thousands from few loaves of bread and even raising the dead. These were signs only of the Messiah.

What Christmas signifies, therefore, includes God’s faithfulness to his promises. He did on this day keep his promise of old that he would send a Messiah who would deliver his people.

Certainly, the accounts must remind us of the matchless, all-powerful nature of God. The overall impact is the final resignation to the all-powerful nature of God.

People in The Gambia celebrate Christmas in a unique fashion, with special Gambian features, which gives a lovely flare to the greatness and meaning of the occasion.

The celebration of the religious ceremonies is also characterized by cultural activities portraying Gambian cooking, dance, group functions, masquerade, fanal, and kankurang, among other forms of this special festivity.

We wish all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May we witness many more of Christmas.

It is also essential to know that, according to the Islamic calendar, today Wednesday is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PUBH).

In this respect, we are celebrating and felicitating with all Muslims as we observe the day, and both holidays in peace and harmony.

May God continue to protect us from all harm and evil as well as to lead us to prosperity under the canopy of His blessing!

“One religion is as true as another.”  

Robert Burton