Childhood Christmas tales and the adoration of Jesus

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By Asuman Bisiika

Posted  Saturday, December 21  2013 at  02:00

The moon was full; and so was the mood. The beautiful skyline had just recovered its graceful heavenly blue self from the marauding cumulo-nimbus clouds.

The intermittent wave-after-wave of cloud offensives were after all acts in futility; for the moon had re-appeared unscathed and beautiful to behold. The mood was full; so full that the clouds’ evil attempt to smother the moon and the far-reaches of the sky could not sap the energies of the youth under a full moon.

The Bakonzo, the proud curators of what they call the sanctity of the Rwenzori Mountains, call a full moon ekighoma (drum) because of its likeness to the round top of Africa’s primeval percussion instrument: the drum. And a full moon to the Bakonzo comes with depth in meaning: female fertility and the concept of the completeness of life.

This particular full-moon fell on the day preceding the Christmas of 1980. With very few weddings and parties, people looked forward to Noel Season with glee. For the residents of Kiburara looking for an excuse for partying, Noel was looked forward to by all: Muslim, traditionalists and Christian alike. The Noel season compensated (inadequately though) for the sparse weddings and parties.

Minus the church leaders’ banal entreaties for spiritual refreshment, Noel Season was also an opportunity to see off the year and welcome another. We never held birthday parties and we all seemed to share birthdays with Jesus or the Julian calendar.
In spite of the hardships under which the Christmas of 1980 was celebrated, we the residents of Kiburara made do with whatever was available. Christmas is Christmas, you know.

Jesus, God and Man
The story of Jesus has been told many times and there is now a universal concurrence that he is a figure of historical record; that is to say, he existed in flesh and walked the earth like Nelson Mandela or Sam Njuba.

We are not stupid to blasphemously compare Jesus Christ to Mandela and Njuba; for we know that in addition to Jesus’ earthly historical record, he has been sanctified and made the centre of human salvation (from the earthly evils of humanity).

The human pursue of knowledge beyond man’s immediate existential being has been met by the limitations of human social anthropology. Here: God must have a face and a kingdom on whose throne he sits demanding feudal loyalty from humanity. And a God who put on flesh and walked the earth is more awesome. That is why Jesus’ birth, which we celebrate on December 25, is significant. However, scholarship of Christian canons tells us that it is the ‘incident’ at Calvary in which humanity owes its salvation to Jesus.

We hide our human limitations behind scholarship; that’s why we are reluctant or refuse to fix or correct Jesus’ Birth Day. Because scholarship will explain (rationalise) it thus: ‘it is the fact and act of the birth that matters not the day and place of the birth’. Is it any wonder then that a president of a country known to me still claims that he doesn’t know his date of birth?

That’s why even with its exacting demand for sharper exactness, science’s tantalising revelations are also still limited to offer a round appreciation of human existence; immediate or eternal.

I am no scholar, nor do I pursue knowledge in order to challenge the gods (or God). But just imagine people writing over one million years after Mandela’s death (or lifetime).
The religion of the day will be Mandelaism and scholarship will be debating the significance of the Total Eclipse that preceded Mandela’s death.

The word Mandela will have acquired an adjective form like is the case of The Buddha of The Christ and suchlike.

Forget scholarship, shall we have a merry Christmas and a happy new year?