Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spirit of Christmas

December this year reminds me of two sad things.
December 26th 2004, The Sumatra tsunami.
December 27th 2008, Gaza bombing.
*I'll leave century, kpk and lunmay thingies out of this note, sorry.

This is how christmas was in Gaza before the bombing, December 25th 2008 :

Christmas in Gaza: No Trees, No Celebrations

For the first time, Hazem Al-Jilda, a Christian from Gaza, and his family could not light the Christmas tree at their home because of the electricity black-out caused by the lack of fuel, due to the Israeli siege on Gaza.

'We only have electricity for six hours a day because Israel is not letting any fuel supplies into Gaza's only electric power plant,' said Al-Jilda (34). 'We missed the happiness of lightening the Christmas tree this year.'

'I have never seen such a sad Christmas,' he said. 'This year, there are almost no traditional Christmas celebrations in Gaza because of the siege and Israel's refusal to give Gaza's Christians permits to visit Bethlehem.

About 4,000 Christians live in the besieged Gaza Strip. Most of them belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, while the rest follow the Latin Church Christmas calendar, which falls on December 25.

Yea, as a matter o' facts, there are christians in Gaza. And they're suffer the same, since they too are Palestinians.

Anyway, we all know the story of Gaza after that christmas day.

This year, a true spirit of christmas
Christmas In Gaza by Fr John Dear, National Catholic Reporter

Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power, because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present. -- Thomas Merton

In the true spirit of Christmas, on Christmas day I'll leave for Gaza to join some 1,300 people from 40 nations -- as well as an expected 50,000 Palestinians -- and together undertake a nonviolent march to the Erez northern border crossing leading into Israel. We'll arrive on the first anniversary of the diabolical Israeli bombing attack in which 1,400 Palestinians perished, the vast majority civilians.

The journey represents my attempt to break through the commercialism and sentimentality of Christmas. By this journey I’m trying, in a modest way, to enter the Gospel story itself, mindful that Christmas celebrates the God of peace having come to the poor, having emerged from among the poor. God emerged from among the marginalized, the homeless, the refugees, the outcast, the occupied, the targeted peoples of the world. I journey in the Christmas hope that "peace on earth" comes first of all in places like Gaza.

So, while most of us have already forgotten, some people remind us what humanity is all about. It's borderless.

There are too many people, and too few human beings. ~Robert Zend

Merry christmas, my friends.
May peace and justice prevail on earth.

Quote of the day : " When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally…Surely, Allah takes account of all things.” (An-Nisa’ 4: 86)

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