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Jakarta Post

Let Christmas spirit Carry You On

Wed, December 27, 2017   /   07:48 am
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    Slide: Children play at Snow Playland in Ciputra Mall, West Jakarta, on Monday. The mall introduced a snow themed playground to lure more visitors during this year's Christmas celebrations. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Light of hope: Christians celebrate Christmas at Immanuel church in Jakarta. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

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    Ho, ho, ho: An inmate wearing a Santa Claus costume brings gifts to Kerobokan Prison in Denpasar, Bali. JP/Zul Trio Anggono

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    Stand together: Members of the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor and HKBP Filadelfia in Bekasi gather at the Presidential Palace to celebrate Christmas on Monday. The members have been barred from celebrating Christmas at their respective churches because of pressure from hard-line Islamic groups. JP/Dhoni Setiawan

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    Same old song: An officer from the Jakarta Police's Bomb Squad conducts a regular patrol at the Jakarta Cathedral. Despite the claims of tolerance declared by officials, bomb threats during Christmas celebrations remain a regular problem. JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

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    Ready for holidays: Train passengers prepare for a long Christmas and New Year holiday at Pasar Senen station in Central Jakarta. JP/Ben Latuihamallo

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    Working the tree: Chatolics at SPM Bunda Yesus Parochial in Klaten, Central Java, create a unique Christmas tree made from rags. JP/Magnus Kus Hendratmo

Peace be upon you is a message that has been around for thousands of years and has always become more relevant at Christmas time.

Regardless of each individual’s struggles in life, the Christmas celebration has always provided momentum for finding a new spirit to start over again.

Christmas is an opportunity for many to step back a little, reflect on their lives, look back at the blessings they have received and gain new energy to live for another day.

Christmas is more than just exchanging gifts or listening to the sounds of carols in malls, it also a chance for Christians to take a look at their existence in the world today, their faith in Jesus and how they can contribute to humanity and society in general.

Amid the interreligious tension that has been brewing in 2017 because of political interests, Christmas is a chance for everyone — regardless of their beliefs — to come together in the spirit of maintaining the values of pluralism and diversity, the legacy of our founding fathers that passes from one generation to another.

May this year’s Christmas give a glimmer of new hope to everyone, like the one we saw in the eyes of inmates who celebrated the holiday season at Kerobokan Prison in Bali. May Christmas bells continue to toll in the hearts of each Indonesian so that they can put their differences aside for the greater good.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Text: JP/Jerry Adiguna