It’s past Midnight here in Malaysia so technically already Christmas Day. This post won’t be a long one I promise, just wanted to express my heart-felt blessings to you all whether you celebrate December 25th or not. My family and I actually don’t tend to make a big celebration on Christmas Day, since Christians are not certain of Christ’s birth and nowadays this day has become too comercialised with its Santa Clauses and gift-giving frenzies. It still is a beautiful season to exchange gifts of love to one another, the idea behind it being Christ given as a gift to the world (whenever that was!) .There’s something about Christmas that makes millions gather in anticipation, the gathering of family and friends, mostly warm and safe. I love the security and love Christmas offers year upon year.
In the spirit of this season could I humbly ask that you remember the Global Persecuted Church in your thoughts and prayers. While many of us have the liberty to see all of our loved ones before our eyes on this day or attend a Church service before feasting and gift-giving, countless Christians in Muslim countries do not fare so well. In fact, Christmas provides an optimal opportunity for militant Muslims – whether these be Boko Haram or Al-Shaabab militants or communities and individuals who target Christian worshippers, gathered in remembrance of their Lord’s birth. It happens annually without fail: throughout the Middle East, Africa, South-Central Asia and beyond. Whether the spilling of Christian blood this Season reaches global headlines this year or not, I already have embraced myself to receive the inevitable news of it.
Do take the time to remember our Asia Bibis, our Raif Badawis, our Pastor Saeed Abedinis figures, representative of thousands more like them – all jailed, whether for converting to Christianity or non-Christians imprisoned for expressing ‘non-Islamic’ sentiments. Remember all those locked away from their loved ones, deprived of their children, food and warmth in inhumane prison conditions. Remember the homeless and destitute, those fleeing from country to country, trying to establish a home to replace a livelihood shattered through religious or political differences. Remember all those who are sick, spending this day in hospitals but mainly those with no access to them. Especially remember those Mothers, hurting and inconsolable at the loss of their child. Making this day incomplete forevermore.
I, for one will be having a rather sober Christmas. Currently away from my family and spending my study abroad year in Malaysia for one. The imprint of those 141 murdered Pakistanis for another, something that has burned a scar in me so deep I know I will carry them with me for the rest of my life. While I remain heartbroken for all the unnecessary waste of life experienced in 2014, I am indeed grateful to God for health, education, my faith and my security and it has inspired me to go on….
Cherish this Season then. Have a happy and healthy Christmas whatever your plans entail. May you always remain safe and sure in doing so.
God Bless & Happy Christmas!