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Has commercialism hijacked the spiritual meaning of Christmas?

No Christian would justify much that goes on in the name of Christmas.

No one disputes that the holiday is grossly prostituted to unchristian purposes.Afficher l'image d'origine

Are we more interested in receiving than giving? 

I wonder how long it will be before Christmas as a holiday is cancelled.

Before it is Happy Xmas to my readers.

For the greater part of humanity, Christmas has no legitimate meaning at all.

Over the Christmas period there is more family conflict and more people attempt suicide than at any other time of the year.Afficher l'image d'origine

Perhaps to avoid offending other religions the midwinter break should take place over the New Year, 31 December and 1 and 2 January. This way no religious group is favoured, not even those who still follow the pagan traditions.

The meaning is still there for those who seek it.

For me it’s about CONSCIOUSNESS.

The word Christmas comes from the Old English term Cristes maesse, meaning “Christ’s mass.”  This is the name for the festival service of worship held on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Christians have been celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 25 since at least the early fourth century.

Christmas is obnoxious to some because it represents the combination of two words, “Christ” and “mass.” The word means “the mass of Christ.”

But what does “mass” really mean in the compound word Christmas? Any authoritative dictionary will reveal that the English term mass evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word maesse, which derived in turn from the Latin missa, which is a form of the verb mittere, which means “to send.”

The use of the abbreviation Xmas takes Christ out of Christmas!” opponents allege. “Xmas is an irreverent modern substitute for Christmas. The abbreviation represents the substitution of X (which means the unknown quantity) for Christ.”

There is neither certain information on the date of his birth, nor even on the year.

One reason for this uncertainty is that the stories of his birth, recorded in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke, were written several decades after the event. Those who wrote it gave no specific dates for the events they mentioned.

For several centuries the Christian Church itself paid little attention to the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

It ranked after Easter, Pentecost, and Epiphany in liturgical importance.

The major Christian festival was Easter; the day of Jesus’ purported resurrection. Only gradually, as the church developed a calendar to commemorate the major events of the life of Jesus did the celebration of his birth become significant.

Christmas is not a Muslim holiday, therefore, Muslim countries do not celebrate it.

Although the history of relations between Muslims and Christians has not always been good, it is important to remember that Muslims always stood for a society where the rights of all individuals are not only tolerated, but respected and protected.

In the Christian religion, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ by the virgin Mary, which is observed on December 25 by Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Many in the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity observe the Christmas holiday, Epiphany.

So when was Jesus actually born?

Modern scholarship estimates the year of his birth from 7 to 4 BC.

Although the Gospel narratives offer no indication as to the date, they do seem to indicate it was not in the winter. Luke describes the shepherds “keeping watch over their flocks by night” and this was not done in the coldest winter months.

But as early as 273 AD, Western Christians had decided on December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The December date for the holiday probably arose from a desire to provide an alternative to the Roman “birthday of the unconquered sun” and the Persian birthday of Mithras, both of which were celebrated on or around the winter solstice. A Christian writer explained in 320 AD:

The Eastern church celebrated Christ’s birth and baptism on January 6 until the middle of the 5th century, when the December date for Christmas was adopted there as well and Jesus’ baptism was celebrated on January 6.

An exception to the December date is the Armenian Church, which continues to commemorate both the birth and baptism of Christ on January 6.

In addition to the date, other aspects of Christmas owe their origins to pagan celebrations, such as the Yule log, the Christmas tree, gift-giving, and lights.

The modern Christmas tree tradition probably began in Germany in the 18th century, though some argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century.

The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who drew a new image of the character annually, beginning in 1863.  By the 1880s, Nast’s Santa had evolved into the form we now recognize. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

Father Christmas, who predates Santa Claus, was first recorded in the 15th century and then associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness.

In Victorian Britain, his image was remade to match that of Santa. The French Père Noël evolved along similar lines, eventually adopting the Santa image.

In Italy, Babbo Natale acts as Santa Claus, while La Befana is the bringer of gifts and arrives on the eve of the Epiphany. It is said that La Befana set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost along the way. Now, she brings gifts to all children. In some cultures, such as Germany, Santa Claus is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, or Black Peter.

Its difficult in such a troubled world to justify purposely over indulge without a tinge of shame.

So Christmas for me is sharing no matter how small some of my good fortune with those of us less fortunate. Christmas is becoming Consciousness of the world around you.

Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God’s becoming man. For nearly 2,000 years, debate has been raging about who Jesus really is. Cults and skeptics have offered various explanations.

They’ll say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet, and so on.

The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less than God.

No matter what, CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT THE NEED TO BE CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR EXISTENCE AND WHAT IS ABOUT. SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT.  Afficher l'image d'origine

WHERE DID WE COME FROM. HOW DID THE UNIVERSE COME INTO EXISTENCE.  WHO MADE ALL OF IT?

Some scientists say there was this big explosion that eventually formed a primordial swamp, and … Science cannot explain it.

WHEN YOU REALIZE THE SIZE OF EARTH IN THE VASTNESS OF THE UNIVERSE IT IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

Paul was writing to the Christians at Colossae.

The city was under the influence of what came to be known as gnosticism. Its adherents fancied themselves the only ones who had access to the truth, which they believed was so complex that common people couldn’t know it. Among other things, they taught philosophical dualism–the idea that matter is evil and spirit is good. They believed that because God is spirit, He is good, but He could never touch matter, which is evil.

Therefore they also concluded that God couldn’t be the creator of the physical universe, because if God made matter, He would be responsible for evil. And they taught that God could never become a man, because as a man He would have to dwell in a body made of evil matter.

Those pre-gnostics explained away the incarnation by saying that Jesus was a good angel whose body was only an illusion.

That teaching and others like it pervaded the early church; many of the New Testament epistles specifically refute pre-gnostic ideas.

No matter how flagrantly men may abuse this holiday, they cannot rob devout believers of its wonder and glory as expressed by the angel of old, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11).

How little people seemed to value their lives as they were living them—how busy, terribly busy, everyone seemed to be, mortal in their fears, immortal in their desires and wasteful of their time.

So this Christmas be Consciousness:

Remember every time you hit the like button everything you do not like is being filtered.

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