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Remember, Jesus was born in a manger

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi

Today, Sunday, December 25, 2022, is Christmas, the day many people in the world, not only Christians, celebrate the birth of Jesus, Saviour of mankind, as the Holy Bible teaches us.

The greatest attribute of Jesus is love. That love is not limited to humans. Christ’s love extends to all his creations, including animals. And of course, we must not forget that Jesus was born in a manger, a shelter for animals, because no room was available in Bethlehem where accommodation was sought for his mother whose pregnancy was due.

So, apart from the few humans around the manger, animals were the first acquaintances of baby Jesus. That love for animals was to continue throughout His earthly ministry. One of the dominant images of Jesus are those that depict him as a good shepherd carrying a lamb on his shoulder.

The Scripture teaches us that the peace in nature was ruptured by sin. According to the Bible, in the Garden of Eden, humans and all animals lived in peace until sin came, and with it, violence. We began to tear one another into pieces, first as preys, in violation of God’s instruction who said in Genesis 1:29-30: “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food…”

Nevertheless, from Isaiah 11:6-11, we learn of God’s plan to restore peace in all his creations: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them…They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain…”

As Jesus loves animals, so he does love other aspects of nature. Often, he went into the mountains and on the sea to commune with nature and pray.

Although one may argue that it was the law of the jungle – kill or be killed – that necessitated humans to prey on animals. If that is true, we must also agree that man has conquered and won that battle with animals and nature millions of years ago.

The question is, how fair has man’s government over animals and nature been? Weighed on environmental scale, it will not be wrong to submit that man has been the worst kind of dictator ever.

We have not been magnanimous in victory. And we can all see where our unbridled violence against nature has landed us – climate change, resulting in extreme weather conditions, floodings, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, desert encroachment, soil erosions, loss of biodiversity resulting in loss of genetic capitals, novel diseases, epidemics, pandemics, etc.

However, in this philosophy, we must recognise the commendable strides some people have made, especially in the western world. For instance, there are 44,288 organisations that promote animal welfare in the United States alone. These organisations employ 135,196 people, earn more than $12 billion in revenue each year, and have a total asset of $29 billion.

Christmas, which typifies Christ’s love for all God’s creations, is an opportunity for us to reassess our relationship with nature, especially with animals. It is a time to make a decision to treat nature with a little bit of love in this part of our world, knowing that it will all come back to us.

For those who aspire to go to heaven, treating nature with love in this world is being complaint to the Kingdom of God. From all of us at Tourists Club International Magazine, we wish you merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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