TOMORROW December 25 is Christmas Day, the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Though December 25 is not the actual day Jesus Christ was born, it has been entrenched in peopleâ€™s minds, both Christians and non-Christians, as the day of celebrating the birth of the son of God.
History reveals that the first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25 was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine – the first Christian Roman Emperor.
A few years later, Pope Julius declared December 25 as the official day for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Whether Jesus Christ was born on December 25 or not is inconsequential, but the reason for celebrating is.
Like is the tradition every year, I know by this time many have stocked their refrigerators with all kinds of foods and beverages including alcoholic ones.
Some people are planning on hosting parties while others have intentions to go out either as couples, families or friends.
For some Christians it is a yearly routine of going to church to sing their favourite Christmas carols.
Other people use Christmas period to engage in illicit activities such as casual sex, drug abuse and so forth.
However, before progressing with all Christmas plans it is important to take time and interrogate oneâ€™s motives for celebrating Christmas this year.
Unfortunately this does not only apply to non-Christians but Christians as well. It is a sad reality that many Christians despite attending church regularly have not yet grasped the revelation behind the celebration of Christmas.
The Bible in John 3:16 says â€œfor God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus Christâ€™s birth was a gift of love to humanity. After the first man â€“ Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, man was separated from God and was condemned to death.
Titus 3:3-5 says, â€œFor at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to all sorts of desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercyâ€.
The birth of Jesus Christ and his subsequent death reconciled man back to his creator and gave him a second chance to escape eternal punishment which he was condemned to, after he sinned.
Christmas should therefore remind us of Godâ€™s immeasurable love for mankind.
It should be an opportunity to allow Christ to be born in our hearts so that his love can dwell in us.
Christians have a greater responsibility to renew their relationship with the Savior as they celebrate this Christmas.
While we have people who have distinguished themselves as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ by living lives full of love, most Christians we see today leave much to be desired.
There are so many people who claim to be Christians but their lives are a manifestation of unforgiveness, pride, envy, greed, cruelty and hatred among other ungodly traits.
The holy bible encourages us to live lives filled with love, following the example of Christ. This is because Christ loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
And 1 John 4:8 counsels us saying, â€œBeloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how Godâ€™s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Himâ€.
If we truly appreciate the birth of Jesus Christ and living through him, then love should be the evidence to this effect.
If you do not have any relationship with Jesus Christ, celebrating Christmas is meaningless and a mere activity to entertain oneself.
It is like hosting a birthday party for a stranger who is not even invited but display a huge banner indicating that it is their birthday you are celebrating.
As absurd as it may sound, this is what many people will be doing tomorrow. They are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, whom they have no relationship with whatsoever.
Let this Christmas be a time to reflect if our lives are really what God envisioned when He decided to send his one and only son to come and live among us and later die for us.
Let this Christmas be an opportunity to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, for this is the only way Christmas will have real meaning.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail Editorials Editor