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Reason for the season

Friday 16 December 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Reason for the season
The Christmas nativity scene, “a domestic Gospel” on display at the St Joseph's Cathedral at Avarua is admired by Sio Hafoka (left) Parakoti Jessie, Ithiel Hafoka and Tupuna Hafoka. A baby Jesus character will be blessed at the special Christmas service tonight and placed in the crib. 19122323.

Jesus Christ, as we fellow Christians would often address or refer to as the reason for the season, writes Bishop Tutai Pere of the Apostolic Church of the Cook Islands.

“Be wise as serpents, and harmless as dove … Kia pakari mei te ovi, apakore mei te kukupa.” – Matthew 10: 16.

This is that time of the year like no other, when most people travel either on vacations, tour, return home, visit families or friends, school or work breaks, whenever, wherever and however. It’s that end of year longest holiday break and at the height of it all, its Christmas and New Year’s holiday, so let’s make the most of our celebrations. It’s also that time of the year too when human traffic and movements, be they by land, air or sea, are at its highest and busiest.

Most inevitably, sadly and very unfortunately however, death tolls are also recorded, not so much the naturally born, sick or old age deaths but the uncalled for, unnecessary and unexpected drug or alcohol or careless driving related traffic accidents, drownings, domestic abuses and violence that often in the end spoils the fun and joy of the season. Even so, however, most harmful and negative recourses can be avoided and preventable if due diligence is carried out right and with precautionary care and measures.

Jesus Christ, as we fellow Christians would often address or refer to as the reason for the season, while He sends His disciples on an evangelical mission, He offers them also warnings, preventative and precautionary measures to comply with. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”. He warns them that there will always be wolves awaiting to cause harm, danger and hurt – on every pathways that you may travel, at every gathering that you may associate yourself with and at every which way you may turn, be wise, be wise, be wise. Surprising and amazingly, he uses a most dangerous and deadly reptile for an example of being wise. I had often wondered, why a snake or serpent? Then I come to realise that every time a snake or serpent is involved in any life-threatening situation, it will always hold up and hold back its head when under attack to prevent it from getting wounded or injured. It will allow the rest of her body to the tail to be in the way but the head always kept at such safest distance but can strike at an instance. Unwisely and stupidly, that’s the first thing that fellow humans allow of themselves to fall prey or victim to predators, their heads and brains. They intoxicate with alcohol, they drug it with narcotics or some other harmful drug substances to a point where and when they lose their sober focus and conduct, lose their sense of balance and sensitivity, and open themselves to all kinds of dangers and vulnerabilities. Many get maimed for life, indecently or violently abused or assaulted and many die as a consequence of being unwise, a no brainer.

What are we spending our hard earned money on this festive season? Do decent and responsible shopping and spending on our children and family, spouses and household or do like what most men do, throw out a big and costly beer party just for himself and his drinking buddies and pee or vomit it all out the rest of the night. 

Be wise, Jesus instructs and admonishes the whole world of humanity, “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and that you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 – 30).

True Christmas celebration is Christ centred and Christ adored. It’s not a one day or one time a year but every day, everywhere and at all times a Christ focussed celebration. Its not Xmas extravagant shopping and spending but family convenience, comfort, safety and home security that outlasts the season. Avoid all unnecessary temptations, burdens and stay within one’s means, contentment and decent behaviours, conduct with all due considerations and respect to all within our neighbourhood. Take time to whisper a little prayer to say: ‘Lord Jesus, had it not been for you, there won’t be no fun holiday such as this. You are good news, peace on earth, glad tidings and good will towards all mankind. Please keep our paradise Cook Islands beautiful as ever, peaceful as ever and the whole world to be God honouring and Jesus saved for ever and ever more, Amen!’

Kia Orana e kia Manuia rava I teia Kiritimiti e te Mataiti Ou 2023.

Have a happy and blessed Jesus’s festive season celebrations to New Year 2023.