Date of birth: At the appointed time.
Place of birth: Bethlehem.
Lineage: Luke 1:26-56.
Birth announcement: Luke 2:8-15.
Gifts of the Magi: “Gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
Witnesses present when the child was presented at the temple in Jerusalem: Prophetess Anna, daughter of Penuel of the tribe of Asher. An elderly man simply identified as “Simeon” (Luke 2:22-40).
The physical appearance of Jesus: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him...Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:2,3).
Destiny: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Unique talents: Turning water into wine, innovative means of increasing food supplies, using voice commands to change the weather and paying his taxes by sending a disciple to retrieve a coin from the mouth of a fish.
LinkedIn: Twelve disciples.
Character flaws: Dined with sinners and prostitutes.
Life’s Work: Guilt remediation.
Bargaining tool: “Blood for blood”.
Greatest gift to humanity: The presentation of a God of love who is compassionate toward His creation.
From the journalist: What has been written is offered as a seasonal greeting to the Christian community in Pakistan. In a sense, it is a Christmas card placed on the page of Daily Times. Here is the deal. For societies to function properly, there must be full allowance for human liberty regarding religious faith. It is our faith that anchors us to our foundations and provides our generations with hope. Faith is a matter of the heart, best practiced in the home and also within the context of a community of believers. Our houses of worship are meant to be places of safe pasture. Mosques, churches and temples are places where we commune with God and with our fellow earthly traveller. However, seasonal displays of faith, which are allowed within the public square, bring a unique vibrancy to society. It is the job of government to determine where the allowable lines fall for limited and seasonal public religious activities. And then it is the duty of government to safeguard the commemorative acts of faith, which define a community.
One of the things that makes my Christian faith lovely is that it is a faith to be lived, not a faith to be defended. You can reject my faith. You can embrace your own. There is no malice for your rejection. So, with that in mind, please bear with me as I wish a Merry Christmas to Pakistan’s Christian community! May each of you enjoy this distinct opportunity to celebrate your faith within your homes and houses of worship. May this time of joyful reflection provide you with the warmth of family and the gentle strength, which is the hallmark of our community.
For the editors: What I have written is meant to function somewhat like a Christmas card. It is shorter than usual but easy to read. The title will hit a few in the gut. May they have the courage to read with a lens towards freedom of expression. I think we have it figured out in the US. Seasonal public displays of the tenets of our religious roots allow for societal health. Just as Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter, the opportunities are there for other faiths in the US to have full expression during commemorative seasons — I have been present during vibrant Ramzan events in Dallas. So, I sincerely hope that the Christian community in Pakistan is able to move through their celebrations safely and without any malice extended by others.
The writer is a freelance journalist and author of the novel Arsenal. She can be reached at email@example.com