Follow by Email

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Putting "Christ" Back into Xmas

This time of year, it's not unusual for some Christians to rail against the use of "Xmas" rather than "Christmas," arguing that it is a secular attempt to remove the religious aspect of Christmas by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas." Such arguments, however, are misplaced. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the letter "X" was used as an abbreviation for "Christ" as early as 1485. It comes from the Greek letter Chi, the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which is translated "Christ." It is also found in the labarum (an example is to the right), often referred to as the Chi-Rho, and is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

Moreover, Christmas has never been much of a religious holiday. In fact, it's far more "religious" now than it was in the 17th and 18th centuries. Back then, celebrations got so out of hand that the Puritans passed a law making it illegal to celebrate Christmas and an Anglican clergyman remarked that we do more to dishonor the name of Christ during the 12 days of Christmas than we do in the other 11 months of the year.

In short, then, seldom has "Christ" been at the center of the Christmas season. Not that it isn't a good idea. More emphasis on the plight of a refugee family with no place to sleep strikes me as a welcome change from the current political environment which tends to treat the stranger more as an enemy than as a child of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment