Rose and I have been going to church for nearly a year now – and we were pretty much the last people that Jesus would appeal to, although we came from basically Christian backgrounds (albeit non practising).
But this year I’ve been reading some interesting books, since developing an interest in Jesus and coming to accept that he existed and was the Son of God. The ones I’ve been reading go through historical detail about when, where and how he existed, and why it’s extremely unlikely that the whole thing was made up. They convinced me (in the end!)
There’s too many to list and that’s not really the point of this entry anyway (though if anyone really wants to check out some interesting angles on Christianity it’s worth looking at Rob Bell’s Nooma.com because he’s the one that really sums it all up nicely.
But as a result of our change of mind, we’ve noticed how little Christmas is about Christ any more! I’m not convinced that Jesus ever grew a white beard (he didn’t live long enough) nor wore gumboots and a bright red uniform. Reindeers aren’t particularly popular in Jerusalem nor Nazareth and there’s probably very little requirement for sleighs.
Is it a coincidence that Santa is an anagram of Satan? Designed to take our minds off the true meaning of Christmas with distracting bright colours and meant to put more and more money into the pockets of chainstores and online shopping companies, instead of where it should go – to the needy of the world.
Anyone notice that Satan is generally depicted in red too?
Take a few moments this year to remember the true message of Christmas – and if you’re going to celebrate it at all, then you ought to remember why. Peace and goodwill to all men. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and Love your neighbour as yourself.
That’s the strongest message Jesus brought to the world, remember that at Christmas when you’re fighting with your in-laws over who gets the biggest bit of turkey. Remember that when you’re miffed at your mum and dad because they didn’t get you that bright shiny present you’ve seen advertised since September.
Whether you like Jesus or not – whether you believe in Jesus or not – the message he brings to the world would make it a significantly better place if we could all remember it a bit more often. We’re all neighbours (regardless of religion) so please at Christmas time, let’s remember to love each other as ourselves.