Elias Bejjani/Video & Text/Embracing the True Spirit of Christmas: A Call for Forgiveness and Reconciliation/مع روحية الميلاد دعوة للغفران والمسامحة

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Embracing the True Spirit of Christmas: A Call for Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Elias Bejjani/December 19/2023

As we approach the commemoration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the divine God who was incarnated for our sake, taking what is ours and giving us what is His, it is not only our duty but a profound obligation to extend our hands to those with whom we are at odds. Specifically, within our families, it becomes imperative to reconcile, forgive, and seek forgiveness from those we may be estranged from. The true essence of celebrating Christmas remains elusive unless we forgive, reconcile, and extend forgiveness to those with whom we have disagreements, particularly within our families.

Celebrating Christmas cannot be genuine unless we forgive, reconcile, and extend forgiveness to those with whom we have any form of discord. It is a call to action, mirroring the spirit of the season, and a reflection of the teachings of the Lord, whose birth we commemorate. Just as He embraced humanity with love and forgiveness, let us emulate His example by reaching out to those we may be in conflict with, especially within our own families, to foster unity, understanding, and the true spirit of Christmas.”

As the festive season envelops us in a warm embrace of twinkling lights, festive tunes, and the tantalizing aroma of holiday treats, it is imperative that we take a moment to reflect on the essence of Christmas beyond the glittering façade of festivities. Beyond the gifts and the feasts lies a profound spirit—one of love, caring, and most importantly, forgiveness.

In a world often marred by discord and strife, Christmas serves as a poignant reminder of the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a time to mend fractured relationships, heal old wounds, and extend the hand of forgiveness to those who may have wronged us. Yet, in the midst of the jingling bells and joyful carols, it is disheartening to witness a paradox—a hypocrisy that threatens to undermine the very essence of this joyous season.

Celebrating Christmas without embracing the spirit of forgiveness is akin to adorning a festive garb while wearing a mask of indifference. The lights may sparkle, the carols may resonate, but the true meaning of Christmas remains elusive without a genuine commitment to fostering love and reconciliation. It is a call to action, a challenge to peel away the layers of resentment and pride that separate us from those we hold dear.

One of the most poignant scenarios that demand our attention is the estrangement within families. How often do fathers remain distant from children, siblings harbor grudges, and fractures persist in the very foundation of what should be a sanctuary of love? The season of Christmas beckons fathers to approach their estranged family members, to bridge the gaps that time and bitterness have forged. It is an opportunity to extend the olive branch, to rebuild the bonds that may have been strained by misunderstandings and grievances.

Similarly, the call extends to the younger generation—children who may find themselves distanced from their parents. The spirit of forgiveness is not a one-way street; it requires both parties to be willing to let go of past hurts and open their hearts to reconciliation. Children, too, must find the courage to approach their parents, to initiate conversations that transcend grievances and foster understanding. It is a chance to rediscover the warmth of familial love and the joy that comes from rebuilding connections.

Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness; it is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. It is a gift we give ourselves and others, a balm that soothes the wounds of the past and paves the way for a brighter, more harmonious future. As we gather around the Christmas tree, let us remember that the true ornament of this season is not the tinsel or baubles  but the bonds of love and forgiveness that weave a tapestry of warmth and unity.

In this Christmas season of giving, let us give the invaluable gift of forgiveness—to our family members, friends, and even to ourselves. Let the spirit of Christmas be a catalyst for reconciliation, a force that transcends differences and fosters a renewed sense of togetherness. In doing so, we honor the true essence of Christmas and create a legacy of love and forgiveness that will resonate far beyond the twinkling lights and festive melodies.

*Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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