Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Hidden Message of Christmas

Christmas celebrations all over the world drive economies, producing jobs for millions of people as well as being the major annual festival for about 2 billion people.  People buy, give and get lovely presents. People sing and listen to lovely songs and cook tasty food to share with loved ones.

The commercial aspect of Christmas is so overwhelming that the deeper meaning of Christmas often gets lost.  With all the buying and preparing, many people are dead tired by the time Christmas finally arrives.

Is Christmas a secular cultural event or is it still a religious happening?

As a cultural event, Christmas produces an astonishing variety of customs from New Zealand to Khirghistan, from Tonga to Sweden. Commercial Christmas products seem to become similar due to globalisation. Made in China cheap Christmasware flood the markets everywhere.

Religious traditions vary across the spread of the Christian faith. Different Christian faiths ascribe different significance to Christmas. 
  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas at all. 
  • The Mormons celebrate Christmas though they believe that the actual birthday of Jesus was April 6th
  • The Amish people actually fast, meditate and pray during Christmas day.
  • Over 350 000 Jews belonging to Messianic Judaism celebrate Christmas as the birth of their Messiah. 

Every religion has two aspects: 
  • an exoteric aspect, which focuses on traditions, observance of rituals, social structures and communal activities etc. 
  • The second aspect of every religion is esoteric. This is the hidden message, the deeper significance and the answer to the question why religions exist, in fact why we exist.

What Does the Birth of Jesus Signify to You?

Jesus’s actions show a joyful and willing participation in the sorrows of the world. Going to the cross voluntarily, liked a bridegroom going to the bride shows an acceptance of life without judgement. Rejecting someone or something as it disagrees with preconception only narrows down life. Growth means accepting a higher potential.

So, the hidden message of Christmas is really is about a spiritual birth in each person.

How is Spiritual Birth Different from Biological Birth?

Biological birth happens, without anyone asking the opinion of the child being born. But spiritual birth requires a wilful commitment, a desire to break the narrowness of one’s tiny ego.

A person who experiences a spiritual birth becomes more than just a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist or a Mormon. When this spiritual birth happens, the darkest day of the winter solstice is over and we move towards the light.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Photo credit: Ajay Kumar Singh 


mother aimee said...

beautifully written sentiments
this makes my celebration more meaningful, thank you, Rana

Janet said...

Unfortunately Christmas has become too commercial I agree.