The Nativity is the centre of Christmas for Christians of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds etc. It features in the Bible. The Sunday services before Christmas Day focus on St Luke and other Books of the Bible which tell us about God’s chosen – the Virgin Mary – as the earth Mother of Christ, the birth of Jesus and the historical setting and events at the time of the birth of Christ. In most Christian homes around the world, the Nativity scene/setting is displayed – some made of wood, glass etc in a prominent place in the home.
Every year we celebrate Christmas on 25th December. It does not matter what religion a person is, we ALL still celebrate Christmas. For many the spirit of Christmas is all about buying Christmas presents, sending Christmas cards and cooking seasonal Christmas food and drinking traditional Christmas drinks, such as Heston’s extraordinary Christmas Feast. Why does the world celebrate Christmas?
A question that has been floating around my head is: Why do we still spell Christmas with a capital ‘C’? What is the reason for this. It then follows naturally with another question, if ‘C’ stands for Christ, what does Christmas mean to Christians?
Tonight I am going to my local Church for the Christmas Eve service. I am really looking forward to the service and the sermon that follows plus the Christmas carols we sing. The traditional carols such as “Silent Night”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”. How many of us actually pay attention to the words?
A close friend of mine said to me that the words of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” really speak out to him especially the four lines of the last verse of the carol: “If I were a wise man, I would do my part; Yet what can I give Him – Give my heart”. This carol was by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 – 1894). Again “Christ” in the songwriter’s first name. Coincidence?
When I am writing out Christmas cards I also write out cards for my friends who are not of the Christian religion. I face the dilemma of – to give or not to give – a Christmas card to a non-Christian friend. But I do so in the belief that if everyone regardless of religious belief celebrate Christmas, they could go the whole hog and accept a Christmas card from a Christian friend – yours truly. I usually don’t have a problem with that. I think so long as the Christmas card does not have any symbol of Christianity, such as the nativity on the card or the name of our Lord, Jesus I think that is fine. The safest and respectful way is to send cards which have: “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” etc. Figuring that out somehow seemed easier than the other questions.
So as we reflect on this important celebration, on everyone’s calendar, this year, I wish all my family and friends, colleagues and aquaintances a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!