Christmas season again (Peace time or pieces time)


Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip
This articles is not for Christmas day, but to be read and applied well before the celebration of Christmas. The words are strong and pointed. It is a shame for those who preach Jesus (who is Immanuel, Prince of Peace) but can’t lead themselves or their flocks to the path of peaceful coexistence. When the month of December unfolds, people around the world are in the mood of Christmas celebration that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Christians, Jews and Muslims are thought to be persons who are well versed with their Holy Scriptures due to their practise of frequent reading and explanation. If that is the case, I think, the Manipur Christians are also to be affected and led by the spirit of the Holy Bible. The holy book is a treasure box of forgiveness, co-existence, care, love, honestly, sacrifice and mutual upliftment. But how is that I see some (if not many) of my brethren so violent, so prejudiced, so ethnic, so selfish, so intolerant, so self-centred, so unforgiving. Have they read a new version of the Holy Bible? I don’t know.
This is actually the promise when God dwells amongst us – “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:7-10).
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” This good news is for the `welfare and benefit of all peoples – not just for one ethnic community or selected group. God is all-embracing and has no partiality. For Him, there is no Jew or Gentile. He makes no distinction between Mayangs & Meiteis, Hao Macha & Meetei, Kukis & Nagas, Man & Woman. While Christians are supposed to be peace-lovers and messengers of the good news of God, today, we see more of the opposites. Today we may hear, “how pitiful are the feet of those who bring sad news.” Unfortunately, we are working hard but not for all communities. The universal outlook to appreciate and respect the other is swiftly missing from our society. We are heading towards isolation and island mind-set. We differentiate and segregate persons on different lines. We are not exploring the possibility of similarities but amplifying the minute dissimilarities. A nation or community should be ruled by truly educated-people with authentic approval not by those who think they-are-capable or they-are-real-leaders.
The Church is a holy place where God resides and God influences His followers towards better living. The Church’s pulpit or altar is not a good place for political agenda or ethnic talks. That is the place where the Word of God is read and proclaimed. In the name of God, we should not politicize or communalize our concerns. A church that is politically motivated or controlled is sure to break up in spirit and reality. Church is actually not headed by church-personnel but Christ is the head. Since Christ is not political, so church should not be political.
We dare to declare with our mouth that Jesus is the prince of peace, but failed miserably to prove ourselves as sons and daughters of that same God who is peaceful and peace loving. “It is not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he person who does the will of my Father in heaven.” If we (Christians) are signs of counter-witnesses of the values of Jesus Christ, can the others be influenced or attracted to this religions? I doubt. Let us find means and ways to leave together just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit live together for the good of humanity.

Source: The Sangai Express


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