Saturday, December 24, 2005

A different Christmas

Somehow, this Christmas is different. In the first place, I plain forgot about unpacking my faux Christmas tree and spending time decorating it. My wife and son did not remind me at all. When I did remember, I thought it was too much trouble as Christmas is just a couple of days away, so difference no. 1 - no Christmas tree.

Difference no. 2 - too many dinners - first it was last evening at mother's and now, this evening, with my mother-in-law's. Tomorrow, there is a Church mini-banquet right after worship service, and in 5 day's time, a New Year dinner. How can anybody lose weight given such a proliferation of meals? But I must be thankful, knowing that there are many peoples in many lands where getting a meal is a struggle. So as we feast on this occasion, let us be humble and acknowledge the grace that God has given us.

I used to spend Christmas caroling with the Church, and well into midnight at that. More time was spent in Church preparing for this occasion, as well as Christmas service on Christmas day. There certainly was a lot more 'spirituality' surrounding the occasion then, compared to now. Well, I suppose that's what happens when Christmas day falls on a Sunday. Difference no. 3.

I'm not complaining though. It is enough to know and rejoice in the fact that God so loved the world that he has sent his only begotten Son into the world to save sinners. (John 3.16).

Glory to God in the highest. Amen

Friday, December 23, 2005

Charity makes the world go round

Well, I wasn't wrong after all. While none of my nominees received a direct mentioned in Time's Person of the Year 2005 award, I did nominate charity. Time awarded the accolade to 3 people for the good work they have done with the huge amount of money they have made over the years - Bono, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda. And this is the reason they won:

For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are TIME's Persons of the Year.

Time went one to make the point that there has been a lot of giving in 2005 by Americans towards the tsunami relief (some US$1.6 billion) and Hurrican Katrina disaster. Time forgot to mention that Asia also gave millions to its own. Bono and the Gates, I suppose, epitomizes the generosity and compassion that people have demonstrated for others who are caught in situations beyond their control and where charity is indeed a life-saver.

To all the givers in 2005, I toast you, for you have demonstrated the true meaning of the reality of the global village.