By Canon S Sebastian Campbell
Celebrate to the fullest and with a clear conscience of all pagan baggage!
How often have we heard, “Keep Christ in Christmas”; true, but only half the truth. We must also keep the “mass” in Christmas. We cannot have one without the other.
Christmas is a compound word: Christ and mass. It is a call to celebrate the mass of Christ. It is most proper to bring Christmas in at the midnight mass and or attend mass on Christmas Day.
Every Anglican and Roman Catholic Church will again afford us this powerful opportunity. Having this foundation, we can then move on to revelry. Junkanoo is not pagan nor does it make you less of a Christian if you attend or participate. Its cultural and helps define our unique history.
Partying and dancing and having a good time should send spiritual vibrations throughout our veins. Isn’t it moving to know that the intervention of God through Christ in human flesh causes us to upset our stressful daily agenda and put as someone opined, “pep in your step, Yule in your tide and smiles in your wrinkles.”
No, contrary to popular opinion, there is no sin in having a good time, especially as we celebrate Jesus. The question will be how to put the celebrations in perspective. John the Baptist (Luke 3:1 following) helps us with this. “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made plain.”
It is a radical internal change to which John appealed so as to prepare for the revolutionary Christ who makes demands on our lives. Amazing how anyone can worship a God who has no demands of them. It is when we heed these demands that we will begin to put Jesus into context and honestly celebrate what must be for some a radical turnabout. Let us venture into five of our valleys:
Teenage pregnancy and the tragedy of young girls unable to focus on a proper education while learning to be mothers.
Many Bahamians are financially stressed and live in the hands of the finance man. Too many of us are poor managers of money.
The string syndrome. Many spend a lifetime looking for the proverbial string to pull, while sacrificing pride and human dignity as they “suck up to power.”
Eighty percent of our nation’s children born out of wedlock must not be taken lightly. It is an unfair blow to our innocent children.
Painful divisions among our black people is heartbreaking. Too much stupidity has us divided. If only all opposition forces in this small Bahamas would come to their senses. There is too much unnecessary hurt that we bring to each other because of the narrowness of our minds.
Christmas is a celebration of hope. Jesus was born in a stable, an environment indicative of the low-level existence of his people. He spends his life modelling for us how to raise ourselves up and transcend the stinking stables of life. He never condemned, He simply inspired hope. We are called to be like Jesus and thus forcefully bring the joy of Christmas as a daily experience into the stench of the valley of the modern-day Bahamas.