A few years ago, at the consulting company where I work, we were getting ready for a Christmas party. We were all excited to celebrate Christmas. Suddenly our enthusiasm was quenched by one of our colleagues. He stated that he was a Muslim and would not be able to come to the party if it was a Christmas celebration. Apparently, as he explained, his religion did not allow him to do so. However, he would be happy to come if we organize an event that had nothing to do with Christmas.
That caused some apprehension. However, our boss quickly took control of the situation. He said that it was not actually Christmas that we were to celebrate, but the intent was to thank all employees for the work they had done during the past year.
At my suggestion that two events could be organized: one to thank staff for their hard work throughout the year, and the other to celebrate the birth of Christ, I heard that we must not exclude anyone. We should be open to everyone and that is why we will organize one event that will not have any religious overtones.
And just like that Christmas was cancelled at my workplace forever. To this day, I find it difficult to accept that Christmas has been erased from our work calendar. Even for people who are not very religious or do not believe at all, it was always a joyful holiday that introduced a warm atmosphere to our offices.
At that time, however, little did I know that this was just the beginning of eliminating Christmas. The next part of this sad story was added in 2020. In spring, another important Christian holiday, which is Easter, was closed. Due to the raging “pandemic”, we were banned not only from attending church services, but also from visiting churches. Moreover, it was also forbidden to visit homes to enjoy Christ’s resurrection.
And just as it seemed that COVID restrictions would slowly be lifted just in time for us to celebrate Jesus’ birth according to our Christian traditions, it turned out that Christmas was completely abolished.
This is tragic.
First and foremost, Christmas is a celebration of Hope, one of the three virtues. It is known that Hope is the last to die. When Hope dies, there is nothing left. Above all, never loose Hope – as the author of The Life of Pi put it.
And yet, they took our Christmas away like never before. Do they want us to give up Hope?
It is difficult to say what the politicians who forbid Christmas are guided by, and see the reasons they use to deprive us of the Hope that the birth of the Savior brings. No matter what their intentions are, Christ will be born again, and He will become one of us.
He is the Emmanuel. And He suffered not only on the Cross, but throughout his days he endured all the inconveniences of everyday life. Over His years among us, He must have struggled with more than one virus, as well as likely suffered from other ailments, the same way as we all do. But it was through His death on the Cross that he suffered the most, and suffered for our sins to set us free.
This is exactly why no one understands our sufferings as well as He does. And He will be born again regardless of the prohibitions and restrictions induced by governments. This means that above all, never loose hope.
But at the same time, be aware of those who forbade us visiting the manger where Christ was born. These people are like Herod who was looking for baby Jesus to kill Him.