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A More Hopeful Christmas

The rays of beauty, faith and joy emanating from the modest crib of Bethlehem shine forth to the whole world. May they rekindle a sense of hope to our humanity.

This is the second consecutive Christmas season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. As we write, numbers of infections have dropped over several days prompting the government to relax some restrictions. 

However, the course of this pandemic remains uncertain due to its volatility. As it has happened both here and elsewhere, after a period of easing of lockdowns, there follows a surge and wave of new cases due to the emergence of variants of the virus.

Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been wrestling with the effects of climate crisis which continues to worsen. The global summit on climate change (known as COP26) has just ended in Glasgow. 

From the stages of the COP26, world leaders echoed an appeal to swift action to rescue our earth.  

There is a ray of hope in the commitments to keep the 1.5 Celsius global temperature limit of the planet beyond which there will be irreversible devastation. 

Countries have signed pledges to stop and avert deforestation, reduce methane emissions, fund the poorer countries’ efforts in turning to clean energy, and many more initiatives. 

Both Pope Francis and naturalist and documentary maker David Attenborough addressed world leaders at COP26, saying humans are powerful enough to address climate change. 

If governments use the window of opportunity still available, we can fix our mother earth. If humans work together, the commitments made at the Glasgow conference could have an effect. 

So, more than ever humanity needs hope and faith as it stands at the crossroads of dire straits. How are we going to celebrate Christmas this year? With a confidence-filled attitude, or weighed down by the encumbrance of the weighty loads of COVID-19 and the climate crisis?  

The feast of nativity of Jesus conveys to us a sense of hopeful expectation in the middle of uncertainty and fear. The essence of the Christmas crib is simplicity, humility and purity. 

The news of the birth of the Messiah was announced in the first place to poor shepherds and triggered a chorus of joyful exaltation.   

This is an indispensable announcement in today’s world. As the shepherds hurried in haste to contemplate the newly-born child, humans beset by pessimism need to imbue themselves with poverty of heart. 

The rays of beauty, faith and joy emanating from the modest crib of Bethlehem shine forth to the whole world. May they rekindle a sense of hope to our humanity.  

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