With Christmas being so commercialised, it’s easy to forget its true meaning. Society is so focused on what presents people are receiving or giving, that many might agree that we’ve forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
Youth pastor and worship leader at the Apostolic Faith Mission Church, Philip de Beer, said he thinks the message has been watered down over the years to where every single child expects a gift on Christmas and that is the way people celebrate.
“For us as Christians, Christmas is actually one of the biggest holidays we have. We know that the day is not necessarily about the presents. It is about the biggest gift that was given to us. It is not necessarily about us giving presents to others. So we as Christians actually need to celebrate Christmas for the fact that Jesus came to sanctify us, to redeem us, because we can’t redeem ourselves,” he said.
De Beer added that he prefers to celebrate the day differently. “Personally I don’t celebrate Christmas in the usual way. I do not do the present thing. What I do, is celebrate who Christ is and what He did for us. And I’m not speaking for every Christian out there, a lot of my friends and many Christians I know are celebrating Christmas for the right reasons. On the day we are not holding a service at the church, instead we are giving back to the community. We are helping Towers of Hope handing out food and serving the community instead.”
Pastor De la Harpe Le Roux of Towers of Hope said that over the past month the people of Bloemfontein have shown that they still have the Christmas spirit of giving and sharing. “People realise that they’ve been blessed and that we can’t just look after ourselves, usually by buying nice things and having a big party. There have been a few events happening in the Bloemfontein area. A positive aspect of this is that there are different groups of people doing different things to help people,” he said.
“My father was also a pastor and he would say, don’t say merry Christmas or happy Christmas as that sounds like a big, merry, merry party. If we translate it from the Afrikaans, ‘geseënde Kersfees’, it should rather be ‘blessed Christmas’,” he added.
Le Roux said that those with a giving spirit this Christmas are more than welcome to volunteer for the Towers of Hope Christmas lunch, where they will be feeding the less fortunate. They are also looking for people willing to bake chicken pies for the day. To find out more about how you can help, please WhatsApp Le Roux on 083-232-1051 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. – Seithati Semenokane