Today we celebrate Christmas. Hopefully, with sufficient preparations through the season of Advent, Christ is truly present in each of our hearts (Immanuel), to be the source of love that will illuminate our next journeys. Christmas this time is different. This year’s Christmas could even be the most unique Christmas of our lifetime. The only Christmas that brings sadness and happiness, despair and hope at the same time. It is not without purpose that everything negative precedes the positive. The beginning of this year was marked by flashfloods that hit DKI Jakarta and its surroundings. Easily erasing traces of New Year’s Eve cheer in a few hours. The cleanup and recovery efforts was yet materialized when Covid-19 hit. Then soon applied the social distancing prohibitions, necessitating all activities to be carried out under strict measures, with limitations and be as simple as possible. However, does not this what Christmas mean: simplicity. In simplicity and under constraints the King was born. Surrounded by simple people within the limitations of His earthly parents and the humble shepherds among the first to receive the joy of Christmas news. Yet that simplicity and limitation brings great joy and hope of salvation.
The Joy of Kindy Students during Campus Pamulang Christmas Celebration on Monday, 14 December 2020.
Likewise, simplicity and limitations mark all activities at YPK ORA et LABORA. Students and Foundation Staff Christmas celebrations in the three campuses within the YPK ORA et LABORA were held in simplicity. These include processes of distributing semester assessment report cards and admission of new students for the 2021/2022 school year that were all carried out under strict limitations. But as it is with the Birth of Christ which brings joy and hope; the celebrations of Christmas which were held mostly online, also brought great joys and hopes.
Even the Foundation Staff Christmas celebration presented a miracle in its own right. In the midst of many ruined lives due to Covid-19 which hinder people of hope, there are still loving hands who are willing to share so that this year YPK OeL Staff Christmas celebration is arguably the most exciting and memorable one. Most memorable because it had to be done online. Exciting as there were so many door prizes that more than half of the teachers and employees got Christmas gifts.
Although initially there was a big worry that there would be no presents to give, in the end we had abundant of prizes to share. Not only did some employees donate door prizes but also YPK OeL Alumni voluntarily donated lots of love offerings for teachers, both those who have retired and who are still active teaching. That’s not all. Some alumni even took the time to come to see the teachers to just reminisce and share moments of happiness.
This is the real joy of Christmas. A sign of God’s presence that moves individuals to come out and share joy and hope. That in the midst of a pandemic, God is still present to accompany His people to sow joy and sow hope. Hear the joy, reflected through the cheers of the teachers who won the grand prizes in the form of Dell laptops or the entire civitas academica of the Panglima Polim Campus who got a motorbike they had been dreaming of to support their daily activities. Indeed, Christmas is not all about gifts. But from these gifts radiate joy and hope.
Merry Christmas and welcome the New Year 2021. May Immanuel enable us to step into 2021 with confidence that the Light that was born in our hearts will empower us to walk day after day throughout 2021 with peace and joy, hope and full capacity to continue to love and be His conduits of blessings to ORA et LABORA in particular and our fellow humans in general.
Jakarta, 25th December 2020
My best regards in Christmas Peace