Monthly Archives: December 2015

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Santa Claus

It’s Christmas again!

Would you believe that? Where did all the time go? It feels like it’s only yesterday we were celebrating Christmas. Last year’s Christmas is still so fresh in my mind. I’ve been so busy all year round that now I feel like I haven’t prepared enough for tomorrow.

One thing I learned is that Christmas is not just a day. It’s a season. So it’s never about 25th December only. It’s composed of the days preceding the material day and even the days after. Up until last week Wednesday I was busy revising for exams and honestly I feel like I need more time to get myself in the Christmassy mood.

Looking around me I see Christmas decorations, on the streets, and even in my house. But truth is, I really don’t feel this Christmas. However, deep down I know it’s not just reading for exams that has deprived me off of the Christmas cheer, it’s been some of the things going on in my family; the depressing stuff. So now it’s Christmas and I feel unprepared.

From my own experiences, I’ll keep reiterating, Christmas is not just about giving gifts and travelling to all the fancy places in the world; it’s about spending time with our loved ones, making them feel cherished; just spreading some cheer. It’s true what they say; ‘the best things in life are free’.

Putting a smile on another person’s face need not cost a single dime. Sometimes it’s about dedicating a few minutes of our time to those who need us; using our God-given talents to cheer others up. So now that it will be Christmas day in just a few hours, we still have time to put smiles on people’s faces. We have time to let go off the grudges we’ve been holding, and to forgive those who may have wronged us in whatever way.

If there’s something you can do to make another person happy, do it. You’d be surprised what doing good does to our souls. It livens us up in ways so unimaginable. And what better time to do it than now? It’s Christmas y’all.

Listen to all Christmas carols as is humanly possible because we only get to listen to them once every year; and that time is now. And while you’re at it, have the merriest of Christmases. 🙂


christmas tree

What will people think about me?

Saint Joseph

Whom to please, God or man?

How many times have you found yourself conflicted about whom to please? To please God, or to do all you can to please fellow men. Many times most of us find ourselves at odds, especially when it’s something we feel we need to do so we can look cool; so we don’t lose credibility in our friends’ eyes, yet doing that precise thing would make us fall from God’s grace.

During this period, as we count down minutes to the birth of Christ, we get to learn from the story of a man, who is not celebrated a lot- he fades into the background once the star of the season (Jesus) comes to the scene; and not to mention His Blessed mother- a virgin, who conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We’re going to focus on the story of Joseph, Jesus’ father, because from him there’s so much to learn. As most of us are aware of, Joseph and Mary were Jews, and at the time Mary conceived, she and Joseph were not married. They were only engaged and had therefore not consummated their relationship.

Actually, at the time, so much would have gone wrong if God-forbid they had engaged in coitus before being married. For starters, Mary would probably have been stoned to death for engaging in sexual immorality. Now that brings me to Joseph. When Mary had that Immaculate Conception, he obviously knew the baby wasn’t his and he could have done what the men of this generation do without a tinge of remorse.

“He’s not mine!” Joseph would have denied vehemently, and unlike the guilty men who just bail on women they had been involved intimately with when they say they are pregnant, his denial would have been warranted. We, who have been enlightened about the story of Jesus of Nazareth, know Mary was a virgin when she conceived.

Joseph, however, did anything but. I’m thinking, if he was from this era we live in, he would have called Mary all those unholy names after making it clear that the baby she was expecting was not his. And maybe, just maybe, he would have called the authorities on her, given that they lived in a time when all these sexual shenanigans people from this era partake of so indiscreetly, would have cost them their lives.

But contrary to what would have been expected of a guy in his position, he accepted Mary. He didn’t care that maybe all those who knew the baby wasn’t his would have had him ostracized. The thing about most of us, is that we’re inherently afraid of being shunned by society, so whenever we feel like our actions might get us rejected by the larger society, we cower and do what will keep our relationships intact, caring less about what God will think of us.

Basically, if Joseph did what most us would have expected him to do, he wouldn’t have accepted Jesus because deep down he knew that was not his son. He would even have accused Mary of lying. I mean, just think, how often do women get pregnant by Immaculate Conception? It was just that one time; and Joseph believed it. He didn’t go all berserk, accusing her of whoring. God forbid!

Obviously, as the story goes, God intervened: Joseph contemplated breaking up with Mary but as he didn’t want to humiliate her in public, he planned on doing it in private; however, when he was asleep an angel of god appeared to him, asking him not to break the engagement as she had conceived by the Holy Spirit and the child would save mankind from sin. (Matthew 1:18-24)

But then again, how many times does the Holy Spirit speak to us and we blatantly ignore? I would say, severally. Joseph, however, listened to the voice of God, and accepted that Mary had been chosen to be the mother of Christ, and he unquestioningly, agreed to become the father of Jesus.

Joseph didn’t do what he thought would save him from people’s derision; he chose to follow the will of God. Now, years later, we talk about him, awed by his submission to the will of God. Chances are if he had acted in fear-fear of being rejected by society-he would have disobeyed God and by so doing, he would have earned God’s wrath, instead of blessings.

Prayer to St. Joseph

We have so much to learn from that. Whenever we find ourselves at a crossroads, where we’re not sure whether to follow God’s will and be shunned by society or do good in people’s eyes but displease God in the process, we should take comfort in Joseph’s story. Following the will of God will always earn us blessings.

Knowing how much pressure people find themselves subjected to whenever they have to make some very conflicting choices, it’s not hard to understand why, or even how people end up making choices that make them fall from God’s grace. We shouldn’t get discouraged though. These problems we face are not unique to us. They happened before and as it is, Joseph’s story should encourage us all.

The question to ask is not, “What will people think about me?” but rather, “What will God think about me?”

It’s better to be at war with all of society and be at peace with God, than be loved by all of humanity but lose favour in the eyes of God.

And because tomorrow is Christmas, I wish you all the merriest of Christmases. May the new Christ child be born in our hearts.