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    CBF Christmas Message 2015

    CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE CARIBBEAN BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP

     

    It is with a sense of joy that we pen this Christmas message on behalf of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship. Christmas remains an important observance on the Christian Calendar providing it is properly understood and observed. In most places in the Caribbean, Christmas is a time for extravagance. This is seen in excessive spending, overindulgences, and increased commercial activities. However, observing Christmas in these ways is to miss the mark. The secularization and commercialization of this season reflects the current period of post modernity with its emphasis on secularism and relativism.

    The current debate relative to when Jesus was born is an ongoing one and will be so, for as long as time last. Therefore, we have no intention to be detained by it; suffice it to say, we affirm the birth of Jesus Christ and for us, this season is chosen to mark this significant occurrence.  The fact is, it is undeniable that Jesus lived amongst us in the garb of human flesh; was crucified, buried and rose on the third day. Therefore, there is an inextricable link between the cradle and the cross – no cradle no cross.

    The theme of solidarity is appropriate for visibility during this time as this is what Christmas is about, among other things. To say that God tabernacle amongst us in human flesh is to suggest that God experienced the tragedies of humanity. God stood in solidarity with the disadvantaged people of the world in Jesus Christ, so as to inspire hope and transformation. This is seen in the family tree of Jesus recorded by Matthew where three women of notorious character are listed, namely Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba. The inclusion of these women is to make the point that God came in Jesus Christ for the bruised and battered, the ostracized and outcast, in order to transform and inspire hope.

    The identification of Jesus with the religious outcasts and inferior groups of His time is a strong indication of divine bias towards the category of the disadvantaged. God takes sides with the powerless and voiceless and the weak and vulnerable.  Perhaps one of the best ways to observe Christmas is to similarly show interest in the disadvantaged people of the world.  This requires love and compassion.

    Love is more than an affectionate emotion; it is an expression of the mind, the will and intention. It is redemptive in its intent as it reflects God’s redemptive goodwill to all despite race, class and creed. The world needs “agape” love. There are no strings attached to this love as it is selfless and self-giving. In addition to love, compassion is needed in a world that seems numb. Compassion implies the capacity to feel with the hurting so much so that one is moved to liberating and redemptive actions.

    Let this Christmas be a time when deliberate efforts are made to identify with the wretched of the earth not in condescending or paternalistic ways, but in ways that seek to affirm our common humanity and the empowerment of the disadvantaged. 

     

    Rev. Everton Jackson

    Executive Secretary/Treasurer


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