Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day To You!

Today is Boxing Day! It's also known as St. Stephen's Day. St. Stephen was one of the first Christian martyrs, stoned to death in Jerusalem for believing in the teachings of Jesus.

Its origin dates back to past centuries when it was the custom for the wealthy to give gifts to employees or people in the lower social class, mostly household servants and other service personnel. Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day, but beneficences to the less fortunate were bestowed the day after.

An 'alms box' was placed in every church on Christmas Day. Worshippers will placed gifts in them for the poor in the parish. These boxes will then be opened the day after Christmas, which was how this day had come to be known as 'Boxing Day'.

Boxing Day is still celebrated and observed as a public holiday in many countries today. But in the spirit of modernity, can this social distinction between the lowly and the nobles or the servant and the master or the less fortunate and the rich, be an acceptable culture? Should this day continue to be practised with the same significance?

God "has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings" (Acts 17:26). We are all descendants of Adam. While we are divided between different nations, languages, ethnicities, religions and cultures, we are all the same human beings, created by the hand of God.
Make A Difference Social rank should neither be a yardstick in extending our helping hand. Embrace the spirit of sharing and giving because we know it's right and it makes us feel good, not only during Christmas but all year round!

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