Archbishop Andrew Chan of the Hong Kong Anglican Church said wishing each other “Merry Christmas” can sound detached from reality, when many people are painfully aware of the tragedies and hardships around them.
“Facing the still ongoing pandemic, and all the economic and political crises that are appearing over the world, there is no escape of us: each and every one must deal with the deep-seated conflicts that are now emerging, threatening humanity,” he said.
But the Archbishop said Jesus is no stranger to uncertainty, and this allows the meaning of ‘Christmas’ to shine even brighter.
He also called on people to put aside their political leanings on global or local matters, mend rifts with family and friends, and learn how to bring peace and find joy in the festive season.
“When we all take our own stance as absolute, we create antagonists out of each other, and we fill our society with confusion. Trust will be no more, and relationships will break,” Archbishop Chan said.
“We must therefore seek a way to heal the rifts in our family, our church, our society and our world, for it is the only path to happiness.”
Meanwhile, the head of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, Stephen Chow, said people should spend time with their loved ones over the festive season, even though it’s hard for people to “get hyped up” about the holidays amid the pandemic.
“Closeness and love cannot be substituted with material gifts which, at best, can only be limited representations of friendship or love,” Bishop Chow said.
“The better way to show our closeness and love is to be willing to ‘waste’ time being with our loved ones without concerning the outcomes.”