As Christmas season approaches every year, it reminds me of my sweet childhood days in the countryside of how I and my younger siblings merrily used to long for the ‘biggest festival’ of the year (here I say the ‘biggest festival’ because as a kid, Christmas is considered as the biggest event on the Christian calendar).
During this time, we would be showered with gifts, new dresses and much more. In addition to these plentiful gifts, our parents made sure our lives were filled with oodles of love, laughter and warmth, particularly during vacations.
Christmas traditions were bountiful- not just the truck-loads of gifts. There were mom’s special Christmas dishes, grandma’s unique bread and fruit juices for Christmas Day snacks and breakfast to relish.
As a kid, I did not realise how significant these traditions were. Now, grown up and away from home, I feel nostalgic and look back fondly at my childhood Christmases in the hills. And yes, Christmas celebration in the countryside is totally different from the city.
Despite all the fun and laughter, Christmas has a much deeper meaning for me. I have always felt that it is a good time for forgiveness because it is the birthday of Jesus Christ, who was born to forgive us and save us from all our sins. The significance of the holiday for me comes from there.
You don’t have to wait for Christmas to forgive someone who has hurt you or offended you. You can make everyday a ‘Christmas day’ by your selfless thoughts and kind heart. Forgiveness should not be only for a certain period or season. But Christmas is a good time to start.
Jesus Christ came to the earth because He loves us. He came to the earth to forgive us and make us free from the burden of sins. Christians believe that we are all sinners and without the blood of Jesus, we are all doomed and Satan can dominate us. But God loves us so much that he sent his only Son to earth so that we could have eternal life.
John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
God forgives us our sins every day, every hour, every minute and every second. God never sets a time or a period for forgiveness. He is always ready to forgive us if we pray and ask for His forgiveness. Just like we have been forgiven, we should also forgive those who have hurt us. Jesus said that unless we forgive others, God wouldn’t forgive us (Matthew 6:15).
As a human being and especially when we’ve been hurt badly, forgiving may not be that easy. But remembering the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all unrighteousness and sets us free from the power of sin and death, we should forgive others. Refusing to forgive will make our hearts a place for Satan’s seed of bitterness. Forgiving will unlock the chains in our life for God to work in our hearts.
Living with an unforgiving nature can also be harmful for our health, because many diseases, including depression and arthritis, have been associated with bitterness and the tendency to not let go.
So, if there’s anyone who you need to forgive- be it friends, family members or enemies; this Christmas start with them and make peace with your past. Most importantly make peace with your own self. If there ever was a time to do so, then this is it!