Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas - Silent night, Holy night

Origin of Christmas

Christmas is a Christian holiday on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus borned to the Virgin Mary. The date of the celebration is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth.

Christmas literally means the Mass (celebration) of Christ. "Christ" is a Greek word and title, meaning "anointed" or one set apart by God for a special purpose. "Christ" is equivalent to the Hebrew word "Messiah." Based on the words of ancient prophets, the first century Jewish people expected the arrival of the Messiah promised by God as a great deliver of the people.

While we most often think about Christmas as a single day, it is actually a season of the year. In its popular sense, it extends four weeks before Christmas Day and for 12 days after. The time before Christmas is called Advent, comprising four Sundays before Christmas Day. The term "Advent" means "coming" and is a season of expectation and hope as well as the time of waiting for the coming of the Messiah that is celebrated at Christmas.

The 12 days after Christmas, 6th Jan, is called Epiphany. It is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The feast is also called Twelfth Day, or Three Kings Day.

Hence the entire season of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany can be seen together because they each have distinctly different roles in the Church year.

Meaning of Christmas?

Christmas is a fulfilment of an anticipation and prophecy about the arrival of a saviour. Its about renewed hope and confidences for the people. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. The people had waited for hundred of years for this to happen.
They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

No comments: