Always in our hearts
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - September 3, 2020 - 12:00am

It's amusing that Facebook timelines carried out anticipations of the season by Christmas songs a few days before the first day of the “ber” month. And very distinct of which is "Christmas in our hearts" by Jose Mari Chan.

In reality, the playing of Christmas songs signals the start of the season, a celebration that lasts not just a month but months, even up to the next year, very much associated with a Filipino way of celebrating the season.

The celebration of Christmas this year is very different. For all of us this is uncharted territory, so it's natural to feel terrified, nervous and anxious. We want to end our months of isolation, of terror, of sorrow and bring in the spirit of love, of fellowship, of merriment, in the midst of the pandemic, as if we wanted to start the season as soon as possible.

We wish we could put those past practices back in our midst. As we can no longer see boys and girls on the streets selling lanterns, but the lack of this visual cue doesn't get us out of knowing that there was a child born in the manger to save all of humanity.

The pandemic isn't stopping us from giving gifts and sharing kind messages. More than ever, now is the time to be more charitable to those who are affected by the pandemic, to those who have lost their jobs and loved ones.

The season asks us to rekindle our love of Jesus. That we always seek His guidance despite our sinfulness, now and in the future.

Let us brace ourselves as a community of people for the coming of our Savior. Let our voices be heard. The coming of our Savior eases our pains, replaces them with a heart that is so forgiving and happy, a heart that sees others' sufferings and brings warmth and hope.

We may not have the real manger this time but the season brings us to kneel with utmost humility and surrender our vulnerabilities and ask for God’s intervention. Our ability to be without pride or arrogance is a main character that should be seen in those who follow Jesus Christ as He is the best example of someone who humbly followed God's plan for His life.

We can't expect more than ever to have a lavish party this year, parties can be subdued, extravagant gifts may not be of prime concern to know it's hard for everybody, but one can't give in to emotions. We cannot predict what the future will be. But as it unfolds we can control how we respond to the emerging emergency. We will be taking lessons from the current crisis and now working on fixing it for a better tomorrow.

The pandemic will come to an end. But its teachings cannot be taken for granted, as we prepare to deal more confidently and aggressively with life’s challenges in the future.

May we distance ourselves from others but the spirit and love of God has been, is, and will always be in our hearts.

CHRISTMAS
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