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Celebrating Christmas

Dec 24, 2012, 9:09 AM

Tomorrow, December 25th, Christians all over the world including those in The Gambia will celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus son of Mary.

It is recognised as day of joyous celebration and thanksgiving. It is a day of joy because, in keeping with his promise, God did send the promised Messiah who was to save the world from sin.

As with Easter so also Christmas, Gambians celebrate with a difference. Gambians celebrate Christmas with special Gambian features, so distinct from anywhere else in the world.

Aside from the religious ceremonies and rituals, there are also the cultural activities portraying Gambian cooking, dance, group functions, masquerade, fanal, and kankurang, among other forms of this special Gambian festivity.

It is a day of thanksgiving to God whose power is recognised and honoured for the event of virginal conception. A child is born to a virgin and fatherless, the biggest mystery of all ages honoured by religious scriptures, Christian and non-Christian alike.

According to various scriptures, an angel of the lord did appear unto the blessed virgin to announce the good tidings that she was to conceive and bring forth a child, whom she was to call Jesus.

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 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.

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

“One religion is as true as another”

Robert Burton