Friday, December 24, 2010
Remembering Christ Mas
Many people say "Put the Christ back in Christmas." What they mean is, the "X" of Xmas says nothing of the Being after whom Christmas is named—i.e. Jesus Christ. Even though, historically, the 25th of December is not Christ's actual birthday, it is the date on which Christians celebrate His birth worldwide.
Looking around, I don't think Jesus Christ is the focus of Christmas to the general masses. The focus is shopping, gifts, eating, drinking and partying.
Sometimes when the radio is on in the car, I hear a song I used to like,—e.g Boys of Summer" (Don Henley) or "Feel Like Making Love" (Bad Company) . . . only the version being played is a remake . . . a horrendous remake by one of these new bands that all sound the same. What used to be a musical classic is now blaring through the speakers, sounding cheap and shallow—three chords repeated over and over and a voice wailing in the background. What makes it worse is when someone who has never heard the original thinks that the remake is the original and says "Wow! I love that new song by J-Lo!"
Maybe, similarly, one day in the future, someone will be on a game show like Jeopardy and the question will be "Which historical figure did Christmas celebrate?" The clock will tick slowly and just before the "baaaaarp!" noise that indicates time is up, the person will slam their hand down and shout out "Santa Claus!!"
This Christmas, with all of the traffic and the frenzy of people shopping, the onslaught of advertising all around us, the stressful vibe of people "having" to buy gifts . . . I found myself thinking "I don't like Christmas. I cant wait for it to be over." I didn't mean this in a Scroogish way—just that I don't like the commercialism and craziness.
I'm not a "religious" person. Manmade, organised religion divides rather than unites us. It judges rather than loves us. And in terms of Jesus Christ, I think many Christians don't live up to His name and what He represented—Truth, Love, Forgiveness, Humility, a friend of the downtrodden and marginalised.
I don't naurally feel moved to honour Christ by going to church, because I have often found church to be hypocritical. But I do feel moved to recognise that Jesus was a great Soul who walked this earth and has brought peace and healing to many. I myself have had personal experiences in which Jesus played a major role. This had nothing to do with "manmade church"—it was just me and Jesus on a one-on-one basis. I can't put it into words, other than to say such moments are simple and gentle yet life-changing.
So, on this Christmas Eve, my favourite day of the season (I'm not too fond of Christmas day itself), I say to Jesus—Even if many don't know You or remember You, may we all still be touched and moved by Your Spirit. May the true gifts of love, forgiveness, healing, peace, reconciliation, rebirth find their way to each of us, amidst the glitter, bows and wrapping paper. May those who hide or suffer in dark holes be flushed out and illumined with LIGHT. May those who use Your name in ways that I imagine would not be pleasing to You (i.e. discrimination, judgment and personal financial gain) come to understand that we are all worthy of the greatest Love and that no one is superior.
Thank You for your example. You exist in a form that is beyond description, beyond manmade constructs and labels. May this unlimited power be realised by each of us reading this, regardless of religion, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social status, police record—and may it ripple out to bless all whom we encounter henceforth.
So be it.