Messages of hope and peace as Kenyans mark Christmas fete

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua distributes Christmas hampers to his neighbors at his home in Hiriga village, Mathira County on December 24, 2023. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Messages of peace, reconciliation and hope for the country dominated summons and messages from leaders across the country ahead of today's Christmas celebrations.

And while most of them acknowledged the tough economic uncertainties the country is facing, they claimed the celebrations present hope for the country.

This happened as Kenyans made the final preparations for the Christmas festivities as thousands made the last-minute rush to join their families for the celebrations.

Churches across the country attracted huge number of congregants ahead of Christmas festivities.

Similarly, there was a hive of activities in most supermarkets and markets as Kenyans bought items they intended to use to mark the birth of Christ.

Speaking separately, the clergy urged Kenyans to embrace love, peace and reconciliation in their messages of goodwill.

The Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit said the presence of God will dispel any form of uncertainty the country is facing and urged Kenyans to embrace love.

In his message ahead of the celebrations, Ole Sapit made references to Bible verses highlighting how God gives hope to the world.

"Christmas gives hope and assurance of the presence of God. Even in the hard economic times Kenyans are facing, the presence of God is all we need to dispel any form of uncertainty," he said. 

Nyeri Archbishop Anthony Muheria urged Kenyans to spread love and kindness as he called for restoration of sanity in the world.

"I pray that this Christmas brings you immeasurable joy, peace and happiness. May the coming year be filled with new opportunities and blessings. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year," he said.

In Western and Nyanza regions, several Christians and political leaders thronged places of worship yesterday to worship a nd celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

The sermons were filled with Christmas goodwill messages as church leaders reminded the congregation to be mindful of their neighbours and the needy.

Bishop Emeritus Simon Oketch of the ACK Maseno North Diocese sent his goodwill messages to President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, and Azimio leader Raila Odinga, and prayed that God preserves them to lead the country.

Meanwhile, Vicar General of Legio Maria’s Pap Ndege Parish Stanley Okumu claimed most congregants were unable to celebrate Christmas because of the high cost of living.

In Migori County, preparations for Christmas celebrations were in top gear as families bought items they needed for the celebrations on their way from church.

Parents were busy buying Christmas clothes for their children.

"Though times are tough, we are just trying to celebrate Christmas in the smallest way possible. We can't let our children watch others as they celebrate," said Mary Mwita, a resident of Migori town.

NCCK Vice-Chair Bishop John Okinda asked people not to engage in celebrations that can cause harm and damage.

The political class also rallied Kenyans to unite and mark the birth of Christ.

Governors Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Erick Mutai (Kericho), Jonathan Bii (Uasin Gishu), Patrick ole Ntutu (Narok) expressed optimism that the country's economy will improve.

In their messages of goodwill, the leaders urged Kenyans to embrace love and maintain hope for a better Kenya.

Mbeere North MP Geoffrey Ruku described Christmas as a time to share with the needy in the community.