With all the violence and natural disasters that have been taking place throughout various areas of the world lately, it can be easy for some of the brethren and those not affiliated with the Assembly, to become depressed or saddened. For some people this is because they do not hold to the same hope that we cherish – the hope of a world to come that will be free of violence, disease, and death – a world full of peace and love for all humanity. It is understandable when brothers and sisters who hold to this hope, become depressed or sad during the holidays, especially with so much evil existing in the world. For many it is a test of a person’s willingness to remain steadfast in serving the Creator. Each person deals with their emotions in different ways. Brothers and sisters who have strong faith in the promises of the Father have hope that the current state of affairs in the world will actually improve, even though they appear at the moment to be bleak. Our faith and patience in the work of the Father is important to continue developing as the world continues to abandon belief in the Creator. We develop our faith by continually feeding the soul the light that is provided by the Father in heaven.
Many of the brethren, including the world, are celebrating Christmas. It is important for each of us to think of different ways to encourage others to strengthen their faith and to hold to the same hope as we do. It is our desire to promote peace within families, especially among interfaith families, where not all the members of the household hold to the same beliefs. The Christmas season can be very stressful for such families and households when there is no respect for each others right to have different beliefs or understanding of various religious ideals.
There are some families within the Assembly that have misunderstood some of the differences of their family members, or who have insisted on one specific way in which to observe the holy days, causing unrest between one another. The source of this unrest is due to the failure to respect the opinions or thoughts of other members of the household. This causes a great deal of unnecessary tension and sometimes heartache and bad memories. Not all of the communities in the Assembly celebrate Christmas on the same day. Some observe the birth day of Yeshua in September, while others do so in December or January. It is important to bear in mind that even though there are various days and different methods in which observe the anniversary of Yeshua’s birth, we must respect the right that our brethren have been divinely given to observe this season in their own way, as long as such ways are righteous.
Regardless of the day, month or manner in which you celebrate Mshikha’s birth, it is my prayer that, whether you do so alone, or as a family or with friends, that it is a peaceful time, in honor of our Father and His Son and that it helps build up your faith and hope of the future.
Instead of the gross materialistic, commercial spirit that prevails in some societies during this time, Christmas is a season that should unite believers and neighbors alike as they think peaceful, loving thoughts for all of humanity, despite the darkness that may surround us. Let your love of the Father and His Son be a light to others so that it can give hope to those around you. Let the light that has been instilled in you raise up others in their despair. Pray for your brothers and sisters, but also for your neighbors, for the many helpless and abandoned children, the elderly, the sick, the lonely and for your enemies.
May you have a blessed Christmas as you contemplate the birth of our dear Mshikha.