Kohima, Dec. 18: The elaborately decorated Raj Bhavan in Kohima held its pre-Christmas celebration hosted by governor Nikhil Kumar and his wife Shyma Singh last evening.
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio, cabinet ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MLAs, chief secretary, commissioner and secretaries, army and paramilitary officers attended the celebration, along with the Bishop of Kohima Diocese, Nagaland Christian Church and NGOs.
Rio in his greetings reminded everyone of the song Hark the herald angels sing, where it says “peace on earth and mercy mild, god and sinners reconciled”.
He said as the song is sung, its meaning should percolate into the hearts and souls of the people. Rio said in Christian-dominated Nagaland, incidents of killing occur instead of reconciliation and peace-making.
The people of Nagaland appear to believe in God, but do not worship Him, know the Bible, but do not practise its teachings, love God, but do not fear him and receive his blessings, yet are not grateful.
The chief minister was hopeful that with the advent of Christmas, the true essence of the season will prevail in the hearts of all and that it would also usher in 2013 as a year of hope.
Rev. Keviyiekelie Angami, president of Nagaland Baptist Church Council, delivered the Christmas tidings and said “Emanuel” is born and is with us. He narrated the consolation to King Ahas by prophet Isaya in the mid of tribulations, that the desolations of Israel would be obliterated by the birth of a saviour called “Emanuel”, the “Lord with us”.
Just as the angels sang and said not to fear, Rev. Keviyiekelie also said we should remember that “Emanuel” had been born unto us and is with us.
The governor, the host of the celebration, in his greetings called upon the people of Nagaland to usher into their hearts the real Christian values. He felt that the message of Christmas, which is “peace and brotherhood” is today not being adhered to by the Nagas and wished the people to resolve anew to follow the teachings of the “Lord of peace”.
He also said, “His teaching of ‘offering the other cheek when slapped on one cheek’ instead of ‘a tooth for a tooth’ should be heeded, to sincerely ensure permanent peace and brotherhood in the land.”
He expressed confidence and optimism in the essence of Christmas and said it is this essence, which distinguishes it from other religions of the world.
The pre-Christmas celebration was attended by many church choirs, soloists, institutions and the children of the Kohima Orphanage and Destitute Home.