Let There Be Love Always

Contemplations on the true meaning of Christmas especially beyond the season

Many Christmases ago, I wrote my very first play (actually, it’s the only play I have ever written). It was the year after I finished secondary school and I was attending a church that had just created a teens unit early that year. Having a teenage church was quite novel those days but we had a progressive pastor who realised the importance of focusing especially on that age group. The church was planning its annual Christmas event and we were expected to make a presentation.

We had a lot of energy and we were quite active, as many of us were at a point of questioning and self-discovery. Our services were more like meetings as we could ask questions and share our opinions. Somewhere along the line, we discovered that there were a lot of people who liked to sing so we formed a choir and it was lit. It was actually because the choir was quite good that we were expected to participate in the church’s Christmas event.

I remember that I didn’t start out planning to write a play for the event because we were probably planning to sing some songs. I was learning to use the computer my older cousin had just bought. I was home and jobless so it made sense to tinker with it occasionally to while away time. Somewhere along the line, I decided that writing a play was the next best thing to do since I was constantly typing random things on the computer. I pitched the play as our contribution instead of performing songs, and thankfully the idea was quickly accepted. I probably decided to write the play because I wanted us to do something different and I had just the right inspiration!

I had always wondered what life was like for Mary and Joseph after they found out she was pregnant with Jesus. Mary said it was an immaculate conception but how many people believed her? How did society treat her? How did she find the courage to carry that baby bump up and down the town knowing that everyone in the town was probably gossiping about her and maybe even making snide remarks to her face? And Joseph? Did anyone believe him when he said he hadn’t slept with Mary? How did he navigate life during those times? How exactly did Joseph carry on even though he had heard from an angel?

I thought about all of these questions and wondered what it would have been like if it happened at the time I was. Would things have been different or would they just have had the same experience? This was the direction I was working with for my play. As far as I was concerned, it was a fantastic script but the church’s drama coordinator thought it needed some work. He edited it and made it more focused on an actual message which made sense after he was done. Many of the elements of my original story were retained so the play remained a bit true to my initial idea.

The production was very good as all the participating teenagers brought in their A-game. We got great reviews, everyone said they loved it and understood the underlying message. In the end, I was grateful that the drama coordinator had reviewed the play as he made it more entertaining and enlightening to drive home the message. And what was that message? That God loved His children so much that He sent His son into the world. The original message for the season.

When I think about Christmas, I am reminded that it all boils down to love, that’s all. I know there are usually a lot of debates about the origin of the Christmas celebration and whether Jesus Christ was born on December 25th or not. However, both of these discussions pale when we focus on celebrating the love that God has for us and the love we ought to be sharing.

Traditionally, the Christmas season is very often associated with giving. People exchange gifts and make a more conscious effort at being compassionate. Parents make every effort to buy presents for the children and even new clothes. Charity drives are organised in different ways such as giving gifts to the less privileged or even throwing parties for indigent children. Some companies send out hampers to clients and pay year-end bonuses, while their staff even do gift exchanges or “secret santa” as we call it.

Many of us find it easy to take all of these benevolent actions during the season so why don’t we inculcate this spirit of love and giving all year round? Why do many of us wait till it’s the end of the year before we become more humane and considerate? We may not often realise it but many of the decisions and actions we take may advance our causes but be detrimental to society.

With the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, God gave His only son as a sacrifice and then gained so much more in return. This is the same way it is for us when we focus on showing love. It has been said that we can give without loving but we cannot love without giving. Giving does not have to be financial but it usually would be sacrificial in some way.

By God’s mercy and grace, we are alive and many are empowered to do good not just for themselves but also for other people. What is life if we live it for just ourselves? If we do not contribute towards the advancement of our society in even the smallest way? My prayer is that we would all maintain the same or even greater levels of compassion and love as we celebrate Christmas and the end of another year, and as we prepare to go into a new year.

We all desire a better life but the key to someone else’s better life may just be in your hand. Let us think of love always: love that focuses not just on self but truly expresses itself in giving in some way. We can all do better and we must all do better. This is the way I see things today.



A little bit of nostalgia here, a dash of human interest there, some of my random thoughts and pet peeves, a sprinkling of a reality check now and again, and a little something to get you thinking, and probably, doing

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‘Gbubemi Atimomo

Writer | HR & Business Consultant | Entrepreneurship Advocate | People Observer & Harmony Seeker