Christmas and financial holocaust
“True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about but few have seen” (William Shakespeare).
The anthropocentric calculus posits that whether by centripetal or centrifugal diversions man has become the monumental leverage on which the social-political, economic and cultural pendulum swings. Man has therefore created laws, principles, social mores, ethics, ceremonial commemorations and religious practices to enhance and concretize the basis of the ‘social contract’ of which ‘man’ are the cardinal focus, the Christmas day being one of them.
Christmas is the annual ceremonial commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ by Christians on December 25. The encyclopedia Americana posits in the 1977 edition, volume 6, page 666 that “the reason for establishing December 25 as Christmas day was chosen to correspond to pagan festivals that reason took place around the time of the winter solstice, when the days begin to lengthen to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. The roman saturnalia (A festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and to the renewed power of the sun), also took place at this time, and some Christmas customs are thought to be rooted in this ancient pagan celebration”
The exact day of Christ’s birth is still subsumed in the ponderous thicket of scriptural imbroglio and shrouded in theosophical incongruities. Emperor Marcus Aurelius proclaimed the sun god on the 25 December 274. A.D. the principal patron of the Roman Empire and dedicated a temple to him in the campus martins. These ceremonial antics by emperor Aurelius stimulated a bandwagon effect on Christian group and they quickly adopted December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Another version of the date of Christ’s was assigned the date of winter solstices December 25 in the Julia calendar), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithras celebrated the birthday of the invincible sun (die natails solis invicti).
However, notwithstanding the penumbra of political and semantically mélange surrounding the date of the birth of Jesus Christ, it is clear that Jesus Christ is the reason for the Christmas season. He remains the lucent diadem on the Christian’s armour. He gave us his all as the son of the living God so that we might be salvaged from the labyrinth of eternal perdition. He explicitly sermonised on the laying down of our lives for one another through love and helping to fortify the basis of a common catholic humanity. He incarnated humility and warned against materialism and the psychotic love of money.
That the unblemished and innocent Jesus Christ was tortured, persecuted, executed and crucified for the sake of mankind lends credence to the fact that the son of the living god loved us first. He came and was born out of love for us. He remains the quintessential reflection of love. He further admonished us to live and share our love with one another. He said in 1st John chapter 4 verses 20-21 that “if anyone say “I love God”, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anymore who does not love his brother, whom he has seen cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command. Whosoever loves God must also love his brother.” But whither goeth mankind and the commemoration of the glorious birth of our lord and Savour Jesus Christ.
Christmas has become a season for the satanic expression of boundless mercantilism syphiliation of morality, the luciferous rendition of the carols of commercialism and the baptism of financial nightmares and holocaust. The whole world is entangling in the zeitgeist of materialism. The reader’s digest asserted that “in 1999 America’s commercial exchanges during the Christmas season rose to 70 billion dollars, Canada 30 billion dollars, Britain 34 billion pounds and Australia 15 billion dollars. Africa and Asian countries are already following suit in this depraved and reckless commercialisation of Christmas.” The Christmas season has become one of the best commercially strategic period for manufacturers, wholesalers and merchants to new and grotesque Christmas carols blaring form music shops, churches and private houses. There is massive noise pollution.
The commercial hype is intensified with salesmen carrying large bags of Christmas knickknacks and souvenirs plying their trade on commuter buses and other public transport contraption. All these Christmas drama compels ‘parents to buy toys and shoes for their children and companies are compelled to invest heavily on corporate gifts as public relations gimmicks. The Father Christmas or grandfather frost is introduced to milk presents dry. There is monumental production sales and hypocritical exchange of gifts. The commercial debauchery is further compounded by the deadly bouts of revelry and saturnalian spree. This is accompanied by sexual carousals and shameless licentiousness. Is this what Christmas should be? Is this the way Christmas should be spent? What a shame!
In the political hierarchy are political Executive, members of board, ministers, governor commissioner’s local government chairmen, political appointees, member of the judiciary and councillors etc who have apotheosized corruption and have looted the treasury of the people jubilating in “thanksgiving services’ in various church for escaping with loots milking the people dry.
The religious leaders, especially Pentecostals pastors who are founder and sole owners of their churches will very busy preaching the fear of hell fire and the dangers of not paying your tithes. They then convert the tithes, vows, pledges and donations in acquiring the state of the art cars, jets and palatial edifices for themselves. The Journalists, Lawyers and Policemen will be smiling home with hampers and cash from politicians, clients and syndicated criminals. What a shame!
It is clear that Christian has become completely demonised and sunken in the hot cauldron of commercialism. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour posited that, we can not serve God and Mammon. The world is a state of moral degeneracy and cocooned in theatrical brummagem because of the greed, tenebrous and rancid hypocrisy inherent in our leadership echelon. How can we conscientiously say we are celebrating Christmas when poverty and disease have become the grandiloquent body guard of 99% of Nigeria and nay Africans. Do the poor know that it is Christmas? We live in a world of tragic contrast between the rich and the poor. Why can’t we see free medical health care delivery system, free education at all levels, good road, transparency and honesty in leadership and government, instead of propaganda hypes? We need effective transportation system and a new national implosive surgeonisain. We want to see President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan launch a steadfast fight against corruption and political skullduggery in Nigeria.
Finally as we celebrate Christmas in the frills of the thrill of salaciousness and Christlessness let us spare a thought for the poor in the world. Our celebration will be hollow if we cannot carry the poor along. We, as a nation must stand for the truth and altruism. In the nomination acceptance speech of Richard Nixon on 8th August he said, “let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth, to see it like it is, and tell it like it is, to find the truth, to speak the truth and to live the truth.” Let us all chant glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good tiding to all mankind: Where are our good tidings to all mankind? Christmas should be spent in the retreat of the Holy of Holies with our conscience and in the presence of our God.
Happy Christmas fellow Nigerians.
Gbinije wrote from Warri, Delta State.