Hyderabad: Christmas is not just restricted to one religion or one community. The whole country celebrates the festival to the fullest. The month-long spirit of Christmas blooms finally at the church services which start with the midnight mass. At St Mary’s, the well-dressed congregation of Secunderabad makes the church premises look colourful and brings cheer but the poor are also looked after.
Parish priest Father Bernard says “Starting from midnight mass, from six onwards we had all the regular masses. Christmas is celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony and we, as Christians, promote love. This basilica, which is 180 years old, has visitors throughout who are non-Christians. In India, we have that spirit of oneness and we stretch our arms to welcome such friendly gestures.” The Methodist Hindustani Church which is filled mostly by the Urdu and Hindi speaking people of north India, had lots of Banjaras (nomads), along with Sikh families. “Irrespective of caste and creed, we celebrate Christmas in our church. We spread the light of truth which leads us to peace and harmony,” said Elipay Bharathi, an architect.
Rev. D.H. Paul, chief pastor of John Wesley church, Malkajgiri, said: “The purpose of Jesus coming to this word is to bring peace, We, the Christians, are the ambassadors of peace. We, Indian Christians, need to play a vital role in spreading peace. To restore peace globally, one should have peace within, that would reflect in the family, society and the whole nation.” Bishop M.A. Daniel, resident bishop of Hyderabad regional conference, who preached at the centenary said: "Faith, obedience and expectation are crucial. The coming of Jesus was prophesied by Isaiah many years ago. Jesus, who stood as a prince of peace, gave his life on the cross to deliver us from sin. Christmas is a season to recollect the purpose of Jesus’ coming to this world. When we understand Christ, the meaning of life will be understood.” “Yes, it is a special day for each one of us, but we also want to tell Christmas, that is not only just for clothing and partying. The definition is very deep. Jesus’ birth is a historical fact. One o
f the wise men who visited him at the time of his birth was an Indian. Jesus came not only for one religion but for the whole world. He promised to create a paradise within our hearts. A peaceful and happy life is all we strive for. When we look around, we see everywhere there is unrest, hatred, greed. Christmas has a message within itself: Live a Christ-like life,” said Deepthi Niharika, a devotee., at centenary methodist church.
If you follow that, you will better children, better parents, better friends and you can make this world a better place," said Deepthi Niharika, a devotee, at centenary methodist church....