The birth of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant events in human history. Celebrated at Christmas, by some with emotion, by others with indifference, most of the time the holiday loses sight of the main Character. Religious meanings remain in the shadows, while commercial dimensions are pursued at all costs.
The nativity of Jesus gives meaning and hope to all the stories about us and the world in which we live. In the bundle of narratives that have ever been imagined and told, it remains "the most beautiful story in the world."
Born of a virgin, brought up in humble conditions with phenomenal dignity, poor all throughout his life but desired as king by thousands, famous for healing the sick and raising the dead, the target of conspiracies of the highest officials, killed by crucifixion and resurrected after three days—Jesus Christ is at the centre of the most fabulous script ever to fall into the hands of filmmakers.
In writing this article, I asked a handful of people what the worst thing they had ever received for Christmas was. The answers I received were interesting, to say the least.
The holidays are a time of generosity, when those forgotten by the world meet those who want to forget that sadness exists and, out of the coexistence of the two needs, something good is born.
I love Christmas, and opening Nathan Brown’s book, Advent: Hearing the Good News in the Story of Jesus’ Birth, reading each page, is like opening a carefully wrapped Christmas present, undoing the gift card attached with ribbon and bow, folding back the bright cellophane wrapping and lifting the lid off a curious little box containing the Gift itself. The gift in this case is, of course, the Christ.
Sometimes we are so absorbed in our beautiful Christmas traditions that we don't even realize that our love for them makes them ugly.
I’m not sure if there was ever a time when I thought Santa Claus really existed. I never came across him directly during my childhood. However, I remember wondering, while looking at the pictures from my brothers’ Christmas parties, whether any of the children, smiling at the photographer from Santa’s lap, ever wondered how real his story was, with so many incongruous and incredible details woven into it.
They’re singing carols. Putting up fairy lights and mistletoe and fake snowflakes. The stores are full of Crosby, tinsel and Bublé. Yes, Santa’s on his way and, somehow, the list of what’s in his enormous red sack of gifts has appeared on my credit card statement. I know: I’ve checked it—twice!
Although the holiday of Christmas does not have a biblical origin and did not exist in the days of the early church, most Christians around the world keep it as a reminder of the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth. However, the religious significance of the holiday is waning in the Western world, as the number of church members decreases and Bible illiteracy increases.
It’s the time of the year when, for many of us, excesses don’t seem to matter too much—fruit mince pies, chcolate truffles and more cake than the number of baubles on your Christmas tree!
Christmas involves a financial and, at the same time, an emotional expense. Even in times of crisis, the spending season lasts longer than the holiday itself.
It is said that the mental illness Friedrich Nietzsche suffered from for 11 years before he died was triggered by the philosopher witnessing a horse being whipped by its master. The cruel sight of suffering made Nietzsche run to the horse and wrap his arms around its neck to protect it. The great philosopher collapsed to the ground, and never recovered from the experience.
Unlike all the great founders of religions, Jesus of Nazareth is unique in both life and death, and nature and character. Only superficial researchers can consider him to be just a popular sage, a great prophet, or a revolutionary moral genius. Jesus is different from everyone, even in His birth.
A magical Christmas, a magical evening, magical touch, magical love – people talk about magic when they experience special emotions that they cannot or would rather not explain. "Bring a little magic into your life". This is a saying that resonates extremely well with the expectations of an entire generation.
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