ESPECIALLY THIS YEAR, let’s do more than send each other greetings of love and peace and joy in Christ’s amazing incarnation. Let’s BELIEVE them.

Cynicism, frustration, resignation, fatalism, and the blasé negativism Pinoys default to have had their say. We have seen their expressions. They don’t work. We currently have a set of national leaders who govern by them. Their diskarte and hubris and Mr. Duterte’s complete lack of faith in the God we worship has put us in this dark, dark place. It’s time for the light.

This evening, we will commemorate the birth of God’s son who came for the sole purpose of dying to save mankind. This was a completely irrational scenario. It was unpredictable, unwise, and unreasonably altruistic (by human standards). If it weren’t a historical fact, many would dismiss it as a bad plot. Yet the faithful get it. We celebrate Christmas as a love event, understanding that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so all who believe in Him may not perish but have everlasting life.

The resurrection was the point of the advent. If you believe in Christmas then you must believe in Easter too. Christ came not to remain here and be a famous teacher but to die and conquer what seemed to be the unassailable forces of evil. He was victorious. He trounced death. With His blood, He bought us life.

Today, many Pinoys are downcast. Thousands upon thousands of widows and orphans created by the war on drugs remain dazed with wrathful grief and cry out for justice. Those who lost jobs or purchasing power this year and are struggling to make ends meet cry out for economic justice. Those who relied on the rule of law but were denied due process cry out for legal justice. Multitudes in this country seeking a second chance at life cry out for social justice. Is it possible to help and make a difference for them at all?

Yes, by believing. It’s a start.

Believe that your decisions have repercussions and that your convictions matter. Therefore:

In right vs. wrong, #ChooseRIGHT.

In truth vs. lies, #ChooseTRUTH.

In integrity vs. corruption, #ChooseINTEGRITY.

In life vs. death, #ChooseLIFE.

Believe that each of us was created in God’s image, and that we all have inherent dignity and rights that deserve respect.  Each of us matters to God, and we must matter to each other as well. #BawatIsaMahalaga.

Believe that it is still worth it to uphold values, and demand that politicians should stand for the values you uphold. Therefore, if the 2019 elections push through, make a stand. #VoteValues because #ValuesMatter. Say #NoToTRAPO, #NoToEPAL, and #NoToDYNASTIES. When national leaders betray our trust, we must #HoldThemAccountable.

We are currently waging a battle of good versus evil, and the choices we make in the coming days will determine whether evil will continue to hold sway in the Philippines. You all know what I mean. Cynicism, frustration, resignation, fatalism, and the blasé negativism Pinoys default to will only hinder us from making the bold, righteous choices that are needed. Anger puts us on the side of darkness. So do hatred and violence. We must discipline ourselves and calibrate our responses according to the standards of good. This may seem Pollyanish to many of you. It may seem a weak statagem, idealistic, irrational, illogical and unwise. Yes, but so was Christ’s advent.

It is in the power and hope of Christmas that I put forth this proposal. We can vanquish this present darkness with Christ’s light. I have a God-sized dream for this nation that only Christ can fulfill, but He requires faith. Jesus said, “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). I have it. I pray you do too.

Have a brilliant celebration of Christ’s birth, and may deep faith in His unlimited power grow within you all in 2019!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

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