Let there be PEACE on earth.

It’s Day One of a brand new year – a rare occasion in which the 1st of January falls on a Sunday.  This year, New Year’s Day takes on a new meaning for me too, as I learnt from today’s mass that the 1st of January is also the day Christians celebrate the naming of Jesus.

I left the service with two things. The first, is the significance of living up to one’s name.  As you grow up, do remember the meaning of your Chinese name, and periodically review if you are living in a manner that is consistent with the name that your mother and I have thoughtfully chosen for you.

The second, is the powerful lyrics of the final hymn that we sang today, which begins with … “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”  Enjoy this beautiful version and may the voice of this little girl inspire you to BE the beginning of Peace on earth!

Love,

Your Peaceful Dad

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The Meaning of Christmas

For many years, Christmas had meant different things to me … attending Christmas parties, getting together with friends that I don’t usually meet at other times the year, frantic and almost always last minute search for gifts (both for loved ones as well as for a silly ritual called gift-exchange), etc.

Christmas Midnite Mass @ St Mary of the Angels 2011

But this year is radically different.  Rather than drinking, eating and partying, I opted for something more solemn.  I attended a midnight Christmas mass instead, at St Mary of the Angels – my first since baptism last Easter.  And Christmas took on a whole new meaning.  It reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas, one that is often lost in a world where this special day becomes a festive event that businesses could take advantage of with promotions and specials.

Now, regardless of whether you embrace the Christian faith or not, I think it is vital that you acquaint yourself with the true meaning of Christmas.  Here’s a lovely poem that captures its essence splendidly:

The True Meaning of Christmas by M.S. Lowndes

Jesus Christ was born this day
So many years before
He came a servant to the lost
Though he was Lord of Lords

We celebrate this joyous time
Reflecting on His birth
Not born in a mansion, but a stable
As if He had no worth

He came so He could identify
With the human heart of man
And gave His life as a sacrifice
Offering a better plan

A plan that reconciles us back
To our loving Father God
Bringing hope and redemption from
Sins ruling iron rod

For this is the only reason that we
Should celebrate this day
To become focused on anything else
Would take the meaning away

So let’s arise with joy in our hearts
And share it with everyone
The meaning of Christmas will always be
The birth of Jesus – God’s son

I hope you enjoyed the poem and experience Christmas in a new light from hereon.

Love,

Your Christmassy Dad