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The meaning of Christmas

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 30, 2010 with No Comments

By Daniel G. Moran

Christmas . . .

Just the word evokes strong emotions in almost all of us. Bright lights, cheerful songs, decorations everywhere you go and candy canes, Santa cookies and tinsel fill most of us with joy and gladness.

For some, though, the holidays have lost their luster. Christmas is not so much fun when an important person to your family will not be here to celebrate with you this year. Death is horrible, and the word alone shouldn’t be allowed in the same sentence as Christmas.

Maybe a little time of remembering what the season is all about will help to soothe some of the pain and open a channel from your mind to your heart that all really is right because of Christmas. Somewhere in that channel lives the soul, and Christmas is all about the souls of mankind.

The historic record of the birth of Christ can be found in Matthew 1:18 where it is discovered that, unlike any other baby, the one born that night in Bethlehem was unique in all of history. “He was not created by a human father and mother. He had a heavenly pre-existence,” John 1:1-3, 14. “He is God, the Son – Creator of the universe,” Philippians 2:5-11. This is why Christmas is called the incarnation, a word which means “in the flesh.” In the birth of Jesus, the eternal, all powerful and all-knowing Creator came to earth in the flesh.

Why would God do such a thing? Why would He come as a baby, instead of appearing in power and majesty? Why make Himself a true man and live amongst us when He knew full well how terribly He would be treated? It was love and it was necessary if we are to be saved. There would be no Easter without Christmas. This metaphorical set of bookends is necessary.

So, what is the true meaning of Christmas? This is a perennial question heard often during the Christmas season. Year after year, the question is asked from pulpits, discussed by TV personalities, newspaper writers and just ordinary people bewildered by the hectic pace of the season who ask themselves what it is all about.

It seems a little strange that as popular as this season seems to be, we should continually have to ask that question. The meaning of Christmas seems to be forever in danger of being obscured by all the commotion and promotion of the season. Perhaps we continue to ask the question for fear that the answer will be lost, or already is lost, in the shuffle and hustle and bustle of the season.

So, the search for the true meaning of Christmas is a recurring one.

Too often the answers we are given are coated in many layers of syrupy sentimentality, comfortable traditions, or “warm fuzzies” than any deep reflection on the significance of the Incarnation for humanity.

As much as those things are part of the season, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is not the meaning of the season. It is not about the spirit of giving or the quest for global peace, the importance of family, or even the beauty of a snow-decorated “silent night”, although each of these may power up our emotions.

I think the true meaning of Christmas is about possibility in the midst of the seemingly impossible. It is not the kind of possibility that comes from a confidence in our own skill, knowledge, ability or a positive mental attitude. It is possibility that comes solely from the fact that God is God, and that He is the kind of God who came into our own human existence to reveal Himself.

And, it is hope incarnated into flesh, a hope that can be held in a mother’s arms, a hope that expresses a reality that will live beyond endings and death itself. It is the hope, the possibility that springs from impossible and insignificant beginnings, infused with the power of God through the Holy Spirit that will blossom into a light to all nations.

Nations are made up of people. It is the individual who reaps the benefits of Jesus’ birth. There is eternal life inside the gift of hope. There will be another meeting between you and your lost loved one. It will be a time that will feel like Christmas times infinity.

It is this possibility, this God that we celebrate at Christmas. We do so with a confidence born, not of our own desire for it to be so, but from the birth of a child more than 2,000 years ago; the Son of God.

So, at this very holy time of the year, this time of the birth of Christ, remember the reason for the season. All the fun and joy and beauty and sadness of the holiday season are good and wonderful, but keep your eyes on the “Christ” in Christmas and not the “X” that the world is trying to stamp on the holiday.

Invite Christ back into the holiday, and every day. See what possibilities may present themselves to you through your faith and trust in He whose birthday we celebrate every Dec. 25. Take heart in the absolute certainty that your loved one is present with Jesus and wishes for peace to envelop the memories you hold for him or her as you busy yourself with the holidays.

Let your friends at Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral Chapel be the first to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous finish to 2010, and may you find 2011 to be your year of rebirth to all that this life has to offer.

The meaning of Christmas

By Daniel G. Moran

Christmas . . .

Just the word evokes strong emotions in almost all of us. Bright lights, cheerful songs, decorations everywhere you go and candy canes, Santa cookies and tinsel fill most of us with joy and gladness.

For some, though, the holidays have lost their luster. Christmas is not so much fun when an important person to your family will not be here to celebrate with you this year. Death is horrible, and the word alone shouldnメt be allowed in the same sentence as Christmas.

Maybe a little time of remembering what the season is all about will help to soothe some of the pain and open a channel from your mind to your heart that all really is right because of Christmas. Somewhere in that channel lives the soul, and Christmas is all about the souls of mankind.

The historic record of the birth of Christ can be found in Matthew 1:18 where it is discovered that, unlike any other baby, the one born that night in Bethlehem was unique in all of history. モHe was not created by a human father and mother. He had a heavenly pre-existence,ヤ John 1:1-3, 14. モHe is God, the Son ヨ Creator of the universe,ヤ Philippians 2:5-11. This is why Christmas is called the incarnation, a word which means モin the flesh.ヤ In the birth of Jesus, the eternal, all powerful and all-knowing Creator came to earth in the flesh.

Why would God do such a thing? Why would He come as a baby, instead of appearing in power and majesty? Why make Himself a true man and live amongst us when He knew full well how terribly He would be treated? It was love and it was necessary if we are to be saved. There would be no Easter without Christmas. This metaphorical set of bookends is necessary.

So, what is the true meaning of Christmas? This is a perennial question heard often during the Christmas season. Year after year, the question is asked from pulpits, discussed by TV personalities, newspaper writers and just ordinary people bewildered by the hectic pace of the season who ask themselves what it is all about.

It seems a little strange that as popular as this season seems to be, we should continually have to ask that question. The meaning of Christmas seems to be forever in danger of being obscured by all the commotion and promotion of the season. Perhaps we continue to ask the question for fear that the answer will be lost, or already is lost, in the shuffle and hustle and bustle of the season.

So, the search for the true meaning of Christmas is a recurring one.

Too often the answers we are given are coated in many layers of syrupy sentimentality, comfortable traditions, or モwarm fuzziesヤ than any deep reflection on the significance of the Incarnation for humanity.

As much as those things are part of the season, モYes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clausヤ is not the meaning of the season. It is not about the spirit of giving or the quest for global peace, the importance of family, or even the beauty of a snow-decorated モsilent nightヤ, although each of these may power up our emotions.

I think the true meaning of Christmas is about possibility in the midst of the seemingly impossible. It is not the kind of possibility that comes from a confidence in our own skill, knowledge, ability or a positive mental attitude. It is possibility that comes solely from the fact that God is God, and that He is the kind of God who came into our own human existence to reveal Himself.

And, it is hope incarnated into flesh, a hope that can be held in a motherメs arms, a hope that expresses a reality that will live beyond endings and death itself. It is the hope, the possibility that springs from impossible and insignificant beginnings, infused with the power of God through the Holy Spirit that will blossom into a light to all nations.

Nations are made up of people. It is the individual who reaps the benefits of Jesusメ birth. There is eternal life inside the gift of hope. There will be another meeting between you and your lost loved one. It will be a time that will feel like Christmas times infinity.

It is this possibility, this God that we celebrate at Christmas. We do so with a confidence born, not of our own desire for it to be so, but from the birth of a child more than 2,000 years ago; the Son of God.

So, at this very holy time of the year, this time of the birth of Christ, remember the reason for the season. All the fun and joy and beauty and sadness of the holiday season are good and wonderful, but keep your eyes on the モChristヤ in Christmas and not the モXヤ that the world is trying to stamp on the holiday.

Invite Christ back into the holiday, and every day. See what possibilities may present themselves to you through your faith and trust in He whose birthday we celebrate every Dec. 25. Take heart in the absolute certainty that your loved one is present with Jesus and wishes for peace to envelop the memories you hold for him or her as you busy yourself with the holidays.

Let your friends at Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral Chapel be the first to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous finish to 2010, and may you find 2011 to be your year of rebirth to all that this life has to offer.

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