HARARE - The human spirit can be indestructible.
How many people of Zimbabwean origin were in church at Christmas?
How many put on their best shoes, best suits, best dresses, best socks, shirts, underwear…just to show just how delighted they were to be celebrating Christmas?
Never mind that some of them may have forgotten what day it was.
Where was the booze? Where was the music? Who was dancing to break all records?
Who drank until they could sing Silent Night backwards?
Then you are reminded by someone soused out of his gills that Christmas is not a holiday related to the liberation struggle. What? Someone asks.
Then, for heaven’s sake, what is it related to?
Jesus Christ! Oh, I see! Someone puts it in a whisper. By the way, did someone get drunk on the first day of Christmas?
Who would know that — everyone was soused!
Then someone, hardly able to speak audibly, asks the question: How can booze be related to prayer? What idiot brought the two together?
Have you heard of Cecil John Rhodes? I didn’t know he too was a drunk — was he?
How could he discover this new country while he was soused?
What all Zimbabweans were to be concerned about on this great holiday was to be reminded of why we fought for independence.
We didn’t fight for it because we wanted to be drunk until we couldn’t speak any more.
Independence had nothing whatsoever to do with drink.
The people who encouraged us to drink wanted us to forget all about the liberation struggle.
This is why many people associate this holiday with getting drunk.
Who, if I might ask, decided that Christmas, which has always been associated with Christ, ought always to remind us of Jesus Christ?
That is a far-fetched question.
No. It is not. The people who decided to associate alcohol with Christmas decided this would make the celebrations really exciting.
People were not being urged to drink to get drunk — they were being encouraged to be happy because Jesus’ birth was the beginning of a new life for all people.
Should we still not wonder why alcohol is associated with the praise of the Lord?
Such happiness can be brought about only by a state of happiness that is not of this planet or of this world.
Scientists all over the world have tried to explain why people who drink, even a little alcohol, can be transformed in their disposition from sadness to absolute happiness.
Some of the debate on the Christmas theme is that it creates a mood of extreme happiness, even if some of it relates to alcohol.
It is only when violence intervenes that most people begin to wonder why anybody who is kind-hearted would still enjoy this devilish feeling of drunkenness?
In associating Jesus Christ with godliness, the Christians are trying to simplify their faith for them.
In a state of happiness, untainted by the spirit of revenge or slothfulness, people can confront, teach each other in honesty, with no pretence of trying to love them, when, in reality, they pray for them to be blessed with the force of the Lord’s mercy.
The trouble begins, according to some people of the clergy, when a large section of the congregation begins to condemn all signs that indicate that the Lord is always forgiving, that He is not forever condemning people to the Fire that is in Hell.
The Lord is truly forgiving, which is why, even to this day, people are encouraged to beg for forgiveness.
The world survives on forgiveness — the Lord’s and the people’s.