Today's meditation is actually on video, and you'll need to click the Second Sunday in Advent for today's video. The concept that a Christian can see Christ at work, in every situation, in the heart of every person, whether that person believes the same, is very tough for a great many people.
During this time of year you often hear, "Jesus is the reason for the season", or "Put the Christ back in Christmas." While I do agree with the second statement, I have to disagree with the first. And before you get angry and give up on this blog, read with an open mind. The Church long ago chose December 25 as the date on which they would celebrate Christ's birth. The Christ-Mass has been celebrated that day ever since. Historically, we are aware that Christ was likely born at some point in the spring, simply from the descriptions of lambs being young and what was eaten at dinner. Does it matter? No - we simply want to celebrate the birth of the Son of God - a day was chosen, and all of Christendom acknowledges and abides by it.
The season, however, has existed long before Christ - the changing of the seasons have always been days of reflection and celebration with solstices and equinoxes being the days on which those events are acknowledged. Ḥănukkāh has been around since the 2nd century before the common era (about 200 years before Christ). Other celebrations and remembrances also take place during this time of year, some old, some newer - but all an acknowledgment of the passage of time and events. The birthday of Jesus is certainly an important event - and generally the reason that Christians celebrate, but in reality, it's not the only event, and should not be the only one acknowledged. If we want people to accept both our holy-day and our right to celebrate it, perhaps we should step up and assist others in celebrating their own holy days, by simply wishing them Happy Holy-Days as well. You don't have to know what they're celebrating to know that the holy day you are anticipating will arrive, and we will once again remember the day of birth of the Christ child.**
Something Fun for Advent
Check out books from the library about how people celebrate Christmas in other nations. See if there's something you'd like to adopt into your own family, either based on your heritage, or because it's something that looks like fun!
** Obviously, this is my own viewpoint, and should not be reflective of any church or policy.