THE Christian world is celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus.
Our Lord was imagined to have been born in a shepherd’s manger some 2,020 years ago. It was a birth in a very humble atmosphere yet heavenly trumpeted far and wide that drew three kings from the four corners of the world to pay homage to the “King of Kings.”
His date of birth was registered by lettered men on December 25, a fair estimate taking into consideration the weather and cold temperature in the pasturelands of Bethlehem.
Yes the world is celebrating: even non-Christian countries and nationalities are. Most Christians observe the season in the spirit of the coming of our Savior into this world while some rejoice in accumulating wealth through business endeavors.
We Filipinos start off the season in gaiety and jolliness on the first day of the so-called “ber” months of September to December with Christmas songs blaring loudly via the air waves. Wherever they are, be in Europe, Americas, the Middle East, and other countries in Asia and Africa, Filipinos reveal their beliefs and faith through music as followers of the Good Lord and Savior Sweet Jesus.
Parents, rich or poor, begin planning what appropriate gifts to give members of the family and friends. Children are fired up dreaming of what goodies are stored for them among those natural or fake season decors in one corner of the warm home.
The underprivileged and destitute, emaciated by unfortunate circumstances, would comfort themselves in faithful prayers and hope of receiving the Blessings of His coming in good health and strength to face life challenges.
While Filipinos welcome His cheerful coming as early as September, Latin American followers like some communities in Mexico extend their celebration until mid-February or thereafter. This explains the bright post-season lights and decors in the homes of immigrants in western countries beyond the Feast of the Three Kings.
Restriction of free movement imposed by government authorities due to this deadly Covid-19 virus hovering upon the world has thrown cold water to the blithe ambiance at this time of the year. Unheard off are the sweet voices of boys and girls singing in carol chorus as they share joyful cheers from house-to-house. Ditto with the sounds of string guitars rendering jumpy music bringing forth jovial mood to all in hearing distance. Several local government units have already banned caroling.
This is not the first time the merriment of Christmas was disturbed by sickness, calamities and wars. It has happened time and again in history. The fun and laughter in celebration of His birth may have been sidelined and restrained, yet in spirit His coming have been observed gratefully in silence in the hearts of men.
An episode in 1914 in the battlefields of Europe during World War One narrates how opposing fighting soldiers of the Allied Forces and the mighty German Army went on ceasefire during Christmas Eve. In the eerie darkness of the night, the lone voice of a soldier (not known from which side) started singing the song: “Silent Night.” The tune was followed one by one among the soldiers from either side singing in chorus in German, French and English lines bringing peace even for a short period of time in the shooting war zone.
The beautiful sound of peace sung by battle tested fighting soldiers reverberated through the night of HIS birth. Other historians speculated that not a single rifle shot was fired during Christmas Day.
(According to Google, the song: “Silent Night” was written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr, a young priest in the small town of Oberndorf. The melody was composed two years later in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber; and was first sung on Christmas Eve at the St. Nicholas church in the Austrian village.)
We can join the spirits of those weary WW1 battle tested soldiers in singing this classic two-century “Silent Night” song per chance it may bring the needed peace upon us from the dreaded coronavirus, and the evils of the land.
Lest we forget, let us join in singing prayers too for safety from natural calamities and disaster.
Who knows by singing together Christmas carols we may succeed in pushing ourselves in good behavior and right conduct, and in patriotic discipline that would sway and wipe away the ills of the country.
Praising Him with Christmas songs may hopefully rid us of those involved in graft and corruption in government, and fraud in society; the terrorists and left-leaning activities who wish to put down the government and country; the drug lords, jueteng and illegal gambling lords, and criminals who spoil the gifts of life.
December 11, 2020
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