Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Hello Mi Neighbour | Sing messages of hope for Christmas

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
The Kroell Family Singers (from left): Gerlinde, Elisabeth, and Christiane, sing Christmas Carols during a celebration of the song ‘Silent Night’.

Hello, mi neighbour! Hip, hip - hurray! Christmas is in the air! Soon, 'twill be another year! However, a new year is neither here nor there for now. We are all caught up with the festivities for which the season is known - family gatherings, office parties, carolling, and shopping - and the distasteful robbing, cheating, drunkenness, and the like, like it or not.

This time of year stirs a mixture of emotions. Christmas 2018, for many, will not be as happy as 2017 due to the absence of a mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, friend, etc., who has gone on to 'greener pastures' or a 'sadder place' - God knows. Painful, but as they say, that's life, and life goes on.

Christmas activities, coupled with most of the songs written about Christmas, are usually geared towards lifting the spirits of the happy and the sad. In his Christmas song, Roy T Scoggins Jr writes,

"Christmas is such a happy time,

Hear the bells ring.

Christmas is Jesus' birthday,

Be glad and sing."

From my research, most Christmas songs contain messages of hope and strength to help us face life's complexities and perplexing encounters, especially at this time. Among these are songs like Joy to the World, Silent Night, O Holy Night, The First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and so on.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing, for example, has the potential to soothe many hurting hearts at Christmas. The lyrics give hope of a resurrection that will reunite loved ones in the future. Even though this fact may not erase the pain of loss, the message can tide us over until such time.

In the first stanza, the carol speaks of a King (Jesus) whose coming into the world secures inner peace for troubled hearts. To experience this peace, one must adhere to the King's teachings. The second stanza speaks to the fact that God came to dwell among us and to show us how to interact with ourselves. Unfortunately, many have still not learnt the art of living in peace with others, but we will not give up the fight. As the carol progresses, we see some powerful truths and guidelines to help human beings remain calm even amid the fiercest storm. Check it.

If you are lonely, broke, helpless, and homeless this Christmas, may a good Samaritan find you. However, if you must go it alone, take heart in the real reason for the season as expressed in this carol, and feel free to sing along:

"Hark! The herald angels sing, 'Glory to

the new-born King!'

Peace on earth and mercy mild, God

and sinners reconciled!

Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the

triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim, 'Christ

is born in Bethlehem!'

Hark! The herald angels sing, 'Glory to

the new-born King!'

"... Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;

Hail the incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with man to dwell;

Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Hark! The herald angels sing, 'Glory to

the new-born King!'

Mild he lays His glory by, Born that

man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth, Born

to give them second birth.

"... Light and life to all He brings,

Hail, the Son of Righteousness! Hail,

the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hark! The herald angels sing, 'Glory to

the new-born King!'"

Make someone merry, and have a merry Christmas!


Thanks to donors


- Natoyer, for contribution.

- Marzell, St Andrew, giving a stroller and a car seat.

- Rema, St Andrew, for contribution.

- Karlene, St Andrew, for contribution.

- Ms Dyer, St Andrew, for household items.


Opportunities to help


- Ruberta, St James, asking for a walker and bed linen. Living alone.

- Mrs Morgan, stroke victim, badly in need of a hospital bed, adult pampers and underpants.

- Enid, asking for a sewing machine.

To help, please call Silton Townsend at 876-334-8165, 876-884-3866, or deposit to acct# 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX). Send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email zicron22@yahoo.com. Or contact helloneighbour@yahoo.com. Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.