Hold the presses! This pastor has taken Christ out of Christmas. “And you call yourself a Christian!” That’s right, I threw the “Xmas” word out there. I just cut Christ out of the season, reason or not, or did I?
Christmas is a wonderful, magical time. What other time of the year do we go crazy about giving gifts to one another? I mean, really, how refreshing is it to see grown men and women slugging each other at the local big box retail store, trying to find that special gift for their little girls, Sugar and Spice. How awesome is it to see that love extended with the outstretched arm pepper spraying the multitude, while said multitude skate on the store’s DVD covered floor to the tune of “He knows when you’ve been sleeping…” I love Christmas, but I didn’t take Christ out of the event.
Working where I work and relating to whom I relate, I hear many “truths” shared from the mouths of well meaning folk who have been instructed in “The Way” and have majored on the minor things of faith. Xmas is one of those things. Somehow we have come to the belief that the “X” in Xmas is the nixing of the Christ child from His very own birthday party. Perhaps some language guidance will help.
As an educated pastor (which, by the way, does not mean I am smart), I have been instructed in several areas of learning. One of these is the Greek language another is English. In the Greek language, the original language of the New Testament, the word for Christ is Χριστός (by the way, this word is not Jesus’ last name, it simply means “Anointed One” which is a translation from Hebrew’s word for the same, Messiah). This letter, “X,” when it came into English, came in as a “Ch.” So we transliterated the word from Greek to make the word Christ in English.
Now if that is not enough, we also have a tendency in English, as in every other language, to abbreviate our words in common use. For example I don’t send “Electronic mail,” rather, I send “Email.” I don’t watch the “National Football League” on “Television” (especially since my Chargers are lousy), rather I watch the NFL on TV. We tend to abbreviate everything we can. Now with that in hand, Christmas is easily abbreviated (and I would add, in a form theologically correct) to Xmas without the loss of faith, love, hope or the greatest of these, Christ!
Where Christ has truly been taken out of Christmas is in the human heart, at the mall, big box retailer, snooty boutique shoppe (notice the snooty spelling) with an extended arm shooting pepper spray at the jolly purchasers slugging each other while skating on DVDs in the name of Christmas. To this scenario, I say, “Bah humbug!”
May Jesus establish His Kingdom in each of our hearts this Xmas, so we might experience Him where He belongs.