As we celebrate Christmas, let us make a pledge to spread love and harmony among people of all faiths the world over. That is what Jesus Christ, the Son of God’s mission was on this earth.
Christ didn’t incarnate to build an empire or a kingdom on earth, but an abode of good people, who believed in simple living and high thinking. Born in a manger, he was humble and cared little for riches and luxury. His close disciples were simple folk like fishermen.
When he assigned his apostles the task of spreading His message of love, compassion and harmony, he didn’t mean that they should build ornate churches. He preferred simple places of worship.
Christ was called a Saviour. God sent to earth his only begotten Son to save the world from the sins of desire and delusion. Christ taught his followers by speaking to them in simple language and telling them stories or parables.
In the Bible ― in the Gospels of Jesus Christ ― there is no mention of any religion. Christ didn’t preach or propagate a religion. That would restrict his mission and limit his philosophy of oneness and harmony.
His Gospel was not limited to a region or religion ― it was a universal message of worldwide love, harmony and brotherhood.
Followers of Christ, call themselves Christians. But that may seem like a misnomer, for Christ never called Himself a Christian. Similarly, the institution of Christianity was not conceived by Christ.
Countless churches have been built and Christians make up 2.38 billion of the worldwide population of 8 billion. A recent compilation lists 33,089 Christian denominations worldwide, including the massive Roman Catholic Church (with a billion adherents), 25 principal forms of Eastern Orthodoxy, numerous varieties of Protestantism, and tiny store-front churches with fewer than 100 members.
All this cannot be undone. But what can be done by Christians is to not be proud of their numbers, but be humble about it, as Jesus would want it. Christians also ought to be humble about the richness of their churches.
Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25).
So, Jesus is neither impressed by the grand churches built in His honour nor by the mammoth number of Christians.
He is also not enamoured of the claims of exclusivity by Christians, claiming that they are ‘God’s chosen people.’
His philosophy is one of inclusivity and unity of people and their faiths.
So, let’s celebrate the Christmas of 2023 in a spirit of unity, harmony and brotherhood, minus the tag of region, religion or community.
Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, has also written eight books, including The Newsroom Mafia, Chaddi Buddies, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life and Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. Oswald is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.
Featured image from Jill Wellington from Pixabay