Christmas . . . Xmas . . . ✗!
In the past, perhaps up to the generation previous to ours, Christmas was celebrated with a significant insight into its meaning: that is, we commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ. As a result, the day had a considerable religious significance with corresponding relevant expressions of Church events, carol singing, exuberant Christmas decorations, giving to the poor and the needy, and real expressions of goodwill to one another.
That was then. . . when people celebrated Christmas more or less meaningfully.
But things changed, somehow with rapidity. Our “Western” civilisation, discovered the commercial potential of the occasion, and like the hot winds of the Middle East known as “Sharav”, which burn everything in their path, so they converted the most important event of our Faith into ashes, and our dreams for the day into a meaningless landscape.
Christ was displaced from the Manger and replaced with gold! So presents, shopping, travel to other lands, spending the day on the beach or having a short holiday for two or three days, have become the mundane aim of the great feast-day.
And now, its history is approaching the end. For the purpose of not to offend those of different faiths, it is looked down upon, and in some big cities forbidden, to show signs that have to do with the Birth of Jesus. So we have a Manger without Jesus, Christmas lights without the Star of the Magi, with no Angels and no shepherds. Birthdays of everyone else are celebrated (Queen’s birthday + holiday), but not that of Jesus, so we do not offend the sensitivities of others!
The manic voices of the foolish people in the Old Testament are heard from the depths of the centuries – “let us abolish all feast-days of God from the face of the earth!” (Psalm74: 8).
At first glance, the development of these events appears to be negative. They do not fail to cause pain and grief to the devout Christians. But do they?
In reality, the evolution of events becomes the most appropriate environment for us to discover the true meaning of Christmas. In these difficult times, we will move deeper into the depths of the occasion. We will come to realise that presents, bright lights, and superficial good will – will only lead us to seek the “light of divine knowledge” that is present in the Manger of Bethlehem. And we will celebrate Christmas with deep reverence, with Jesus at the centre!
Source: December-January 2015 Lychnos Edition