Christmas is not entirely about celebrating holidays but rather reflecting on one’s life, seek spiritual renewal and revival for hope and continued peace and development of their families and nation, clerics have said.
Several clergy who spoke to Sunday Times said that many people, especially the youth, tend to get “buried” into celebrations and often do things that are not pleasant to the core meaning of Christmas—which is believed to be the birth of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
“This festive season I want to challenge our young people on why they should not take Christmas celebrations for granted but rather take time to reflect on God’s goodness and find reason in living responsibly,” said Bishop Alexis Birindabagabo, the chairperson of the Purpose Driven Ministries’ PEACE Plan, the umbrella organisation of Christian Churches in Rwanda.
“Jesus came to set us free from sin and it’s true that celebrations fit the day but it’s important to find purpose in salvation and live a life that glorifies God and the community around us,” Birindabagabo, who is also the Head of Gahini Diocese added.
Pastor Andrew Mukinisha of the Nyarutarama-based Christian Life Assembly (CLA) reiterated that: “Christmas is about the coming of the messiah and the long awaited saviour who become saviour indeed in so many ways hence why taking salvation seriously at such a time is timely”.
Mukinisha added that it was for that reason that CLA staged the global evangelistic drama play Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames to impact people spiritually in times of Christmas.
“Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames was staged this season not to scare people but to remind them about eternity,” he said, adding, “We hoped that through this drama we could reach out to many souls and guide them to salvation, instill great hope and portray real danger to those who live in denial”.
The Bishop of Butare Diocese, Monsignor Philippe Rukamba told Sunday Times that the Catholic Church would focus on the message of unity, forgiveness and reconciliation not only through this festive season but through 2018.
“Our message to the people is of unity, forgiveness and reconciliation which will actually be our new year’s message. We hope that people will renew their souls forgive and unite with those who have wronged them,” he said.
To the young people, Rukamba said: “They should shun drugs, abortion and focus on what can build their lives for the goodness of their community”.