Humility, humbleness dominate Christmas messages

DAR ES SALAAM: RELIGIOUS leaders used altars to channel their different Christmas messages centered on humbleness, humility and ethical conduct.

The messages were delivered during both the Christmas Eve service on Sunday and the Christmas mass yesterday.

Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dar es Salaam, Jude Thadeus Ruwa’ich, encouraged Tanzanians, particularly Christians, to embrace humility and compassion, drawing inspiration from the humble circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.

During the Christmas Eve service held at Saint Joseph Church in Dar es Salaam, Bishop Ruwa’ich urged believers to reflect on the birth of Jesus as a symbol of humility, love and mutual respect.

He emphasised that the Christmas celebrations should not be a mere routine or habit, but rather an opportunity to welcome Jesus into their lives and hearts, living in a state of humility and showing respect to all.

“My brothers and sisters, when we celebrate Christmas, it should not be a mere formality, nor should it be a repetition of the previous year’s celebrations. Let us not treat Christmas as a mere habit,” said Ruwa’ich, while calling upon Christians to pray for peace in Palestine and Israel, two countries currently engaged in conflict.

He reminded the faithful that both Palestinians and Israelis are children of God, redeemed by Christ and called to love one another.

“When you pray and welcome Christ, the Son of God, I implore you to pray for the peace of Palestine and the Holy Land. Pray for peace between Israel and Palestine. These, too, are children of God and they, too, have been called to love one another and live as new creations, as children of God,” Bishop Ruwa’ich emphasised.

During the vigil service held at Saint Alban’s Anglican Church in Dar es Salaam, which was adorned with Christmas carols, colourful lights, and Christmas trees, a vast number of Christians gathered to prepare for the celebration of Christmas.

They were encouraged to seek forgiveness and extend peace to one another.

“As a Christian, how do you prepare yourself to receive Jesus into your heart? Is there room in your heart? Often, just like the rich who turned away Mary and Joseph, our hearts may be filled with sin, hatred, gossip and animosity towards others,” said Priest Vincent Kiondo.

“Even in our worship, we have failed to present our hearts before God, allowing the grievances others caused us to linger. We have been reluctant to forgive and release them from our hearts,” the priest added.

On a different note, during the Christmas Eve at Azania Front Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam, believers were urged to reflect on how Jesus Christ can transform, guide and govern their lives.

Assistant Bishop Chediel Lwiza of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, East and Coast Diocese, said Jesus taught the word of God, nourished his followers and comforted the bereaved.

Through his authority, he triumphed over the forces of darkness, the devil and death.

During the Christmas sermon at the Azania Front Lutheran Church, Bishop Alex Malasusa urged Christians and citizens to cultivate moderation.

He stated that the lack of moderation has made the world an unfavourable place to live.

According to the teachings of the Apostle Paul, Bishop Malasusa emphasised that the solution to challenges such as corruption, poverty and environmental degradation lies in humans practicing moderation.

Furthermore, he encouraged Christians to follow Christ and allow him to be born in their hearts, transforming them into upright citizens.

Bishop Malasusa emphasised the significant responsibility of Christians to reject evil and greediness, following the example set by the Apostle Paul.

Addressing the emerging challenge of corruption in the country, Bishop Malasusa warned that adopting a lifestyle of moderation would alleviate such issues.

He cautioned against the culture of accumulating wealth, attributing it to a lack of understanding of Christ and, consequently, a lack of moderation.

He highlighted various issues, including the hoarding of resources and emphasised that living with moderation means being content with the blessings one has received.

The bishop clarified that he does not advocate for poverty but for a balanced and moderate lifestyle, as advocated by the Apostle Paul.

Bishop Malasusa also addressed environmental concerns, including water scarcity, inappropriate seed sales and conflicts between farmers and herders, attributing them to a lack of moderation among humans.

Meanwhile, in Moshi District, Bishop of the Catholic Church of Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region, His Eminence Ludovic Joseph Minde, urged the followers to embrace good ethics so that the country could maintain its status as a respected nation.

Bishop Minde made the appeal in his Christmas Homily during the Holy Mass held at the Christ the King Cathedral in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region.

“The world is now facing many challenges, including those of unethical issues. The only way to avoid them is to create the desire which will make us entertain good ethics; this is Tanzanian tradition,” he noted.

Bishop Minde also appealed to parents to engage their children in family matters, including giving them chances to contribute to issues related to families.

“Give them chances to contribute to issues related to family. They also have something to contribute to family-related matters. This will give them confidence and make them responsible parents in the future,” he added.

During the Holy Mass, Bishop Minde urged the worshipers to prepare themselves to contribute to the First Synod of the Catholic Diocese of Moshi.

“As you all know, the Synod was launched early this month, and we will stay with it for two years. May I take this opportunity to urge you to give your support so that the results of the Synod could bring about positive changes for the betterment of the Diocese and the Church in general,” he added.

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