Posted on Dec 18, 2017 7:37 AM
What is Christmas? How do others see Christmas? And how could anyone not believe in it? We are all of the human family and cherish certain traditions, beliefs and practices. I will grant that one's environment and culture could have a profound influence on certain beliefs, traditions and lifestyle. As I continue to age I am challenged to understand the enormous changes that have evolved on the world scene. And I feel some changes are less than good or beneficial to mankind! As a child I was drawn to Charles Dickens the English author and his work "A Christmas Carol". At the time the only film version that I can recall was available in 1953 as a young lad. (probably filmed in 1938?) This black & white version starred; Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, (actual husband and wife) Terry Kilburn and Barry MacKay. Somehow when I first watched the film and after reading the novel, I was amazed at how an author in 1843 could transfer a message of hope, faith and charity to a world 100+ years later! His writings were quite simple and easily understood even to children such as myself at that time. His messages seem lost to many in the world of 2017.
I will attempt to answer my first question above by answering for myself. Christmas to me can be summed up in one word "L-O-V-E". Family first, then neighbors, everyone we meet or come into contact with and people of all walks of life, including nationality, ethnic back ground, and race. If each of us demonstrate acts of concern, care and understanding to our fellow humans then the world would be a much better place. The word "love" must never be treated as something profane, demeaning or derogatory. And let me make known right here, it is not some "sissyfied
"* thought or impulse! The original Greek definitions say it best! It should guide us in our daily lives no matter what. We see in our newspapers, TV news, and internet sources some who degrade, destroy, plant falsehoods and even commit violence to harm innocent people. This is all wicked and horribly wrong. Christmas to me has (and always will be) acts of kindness, promoting care and concern, and doing good to all people
! God only knows there is enough wickedness in the world doing great harm. But I submit that by following and doing
positive things for others will overcome evil; or at least diminish it!
We all know a little of world history pretty much. Also known are the unrighteous and horrible acts of violence perpetrated against innocent law abiding people everywhere. Mostly these acts are committed because of hatred, injustice and disregard for human rights. So many things in world history could have been changed if law abiding, positive thinking citizens would have shown more compassion, care and concern! All of these things are opposite of what the word "Christmas" means to me. Let us look at three original Greek definitions for this word called love. The Greek language distinguishes at least four different ways as to how the word love is used. We will look at three. 1. Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē) means love: especially charity
. 2. Philia (φιλία philía) means "affectionate regard, friendship,
" usually "between equals". The third is Storge (στοργή storgē) means "love, affection" and "especially of parents and children
". With these definitions in mind I have quoted partially from an ancient Greek manuscript below.
"If I speak the language of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become useless and vain. And if I understood all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I sacrifice my body & soul, but have not love, it profits me nothing
. Love endures always and is kind; love does not envy; love does not boast; does not behave rudely, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in wickedness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know (things) partially, but later I shall know just as I also am known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love
A final thought for Christmas 2017: This link is for a song which best sums up my complete definition of Christmas. I have lived with its words for over 65 years, and even sang it with my entire Kindergarten class. Of all music in my lifetime it is my utmost favorite. Its beauty and reality cannot be surpassed! I consider it the most beautiful song ever written. It is sung in German and performed in Rotterdam, Holland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
*(my invented word)