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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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Is Christmas Relevant in Namibia?

In many parts of the world the 25th of December is a day reserved every year for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Popularly known as Christmas Day, it is celebrated in most countries as a public holiday and an integral part of the festive season.
 
In accordance with Biblical teachings, Jesus is believed to be the only son of God. It is believed that Jesus graced the shores of the earth more than 2000 years ago performing countless miracles, healing the sick, teaching Godly principles and even raising the dead.
 
However, it would appear as if the true meaning is increasingly lost on revellers, and with many devious activities that occur on Christmas day. These are housebreaks; road accidents claiming many lives year-in-year-out and passion related deaths and many other criminal activities that are rife during the period. One is left pondering as to whether this day has any relevance in the 21st century or whether it is just an ordinary day.
 
Taking note of this, The Lounge took it upon itself to hear from religious leaders whether the 25th of December has or has not lost its meaning and perhaps it is just another day in the land of the brave.
 
In an interview on Wednesday, Reverend Lucas Katenda told The Lounge that Christmas Day remains relevant in Namibia, historically and also in the present day.
 
Katenda starts by saying that the day should not be seen as just an event, but that it is a celebration of the birth and life of Jesus.
“Christmas Day has historic and contemporary meaning and that makes it very relevant to all those who believe in Jesus Christ and Namibia is no exception,”
 
“Christ came to save everyone from sin, therefore Christmas is a universal phenomenon used to celebrate not only the birth, but his (Jesus Christ) life as well,” said Katenda.
 
According to Katenda, both Christians and non-believers alike are supposed to use the day as an opportunity spend time with their families sharing the word of God.
 
“The day is all about Jesus and what he stood for and should not be used for parties and drinking alcohol, but to contemplate and meditate about the life of Jesus Christ our Saviour,’’ added Katenda.
 
Furthermore, Katenda remains grateful that the Namibian government declared the 25th of December a public holiday to allow Christians to commemorate their “King”, something which does not happen in many other countries in the world. The clergyman hastens to add that Namibians should use the opportunity presented by Christmas Day to connect with Christ instead of getting involved in bad activities.
 
“We must use the day to connect with Jesus, spend time with our friends and families as we prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ,” noted Katenda.
To the contrary, seemingly disagreeing with Katenda on the significance on Christmas Day celebration was Senior Pastor of Fill the Gap Ministries Jeremy Kaiko saying that it was not “scriptural” to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
 
“Celebrating Christ’s birth is unscriptural and born-again Christians are not obliged to celebrate the day,” according to Kaiko. However, Kaiko maintained that the day is relevant as it can be used to celebrate the life of Christ and his death which is more important than his birth day.
 
“The death of Christ is more significant because on that day, he died for our sins and we were saved,”
 
“We can use the day to preach the gospel of Christ and his teachings,” said Kaiko.
 
Kaiko further added that Christmas day is significant in Namibia as a day is set aside to celebrate it. Kaiko believes that government must “commit resources” to the commemoration of Christmas as it is done on other public holidays.



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