Christ, is a title. It is a title bestowed upon one who achieves a certain level of spiritual wisdom and power. Contrary to much opinion, it is not Jesus’ last name. The one who is so often called Jesus Christ is said to have reached “enlightenment”. Many years after his death, those who professed to be his followers petitioned the Council at Nicaea to bestow upon him the title of Christ, and he became known as Jesus the Christ. Much like various individuals are given “sainthood”. While Western Christianity, propagated by the Apostle Paul out of Rome, fulfills Greco-Roman sensibilities, expectations, and traditions by proclaiming that Jesus was the actual son of God and the only person worthy of being put to death, of being sacrificed, Eastern/Orthodox Christianity which grew out of the teachings of Peter, aka Jesus’ Rock, declares that in each of us, there is a Christ, an enlightened state of being waiting to be born, waiting to be awakened within us.
So, when contemporary Christians say, “Don’t take Christ out of Christmas”, what exactly are they talking about? Are they saying, “Don’t take the man, Jesus, real or allegorical, out of the celebration” because they think Christ is the last name of Jesus? Are they saying, “Don’t remove from the celebration, the focus on the ability of every human being to awaken their divine potential, to give birth to their enlightened self, to begin a new life in the state of being called Christ? I had to pose those questions just to get everybody’s mental juices flowing, but I know full well what they are talking about. They are saying don’t take Jesus, the man, out of Christmas, because December 25th is the day the birth of the Messiah is celebrated by Christians around the world.
However, this opens two doors of discussion for me, in order of actual relevance, least to greatest.
My birthday is August 23. I like celebrating my birthday. I am particularly excited when those who love me take time out of their busy schedules to plan and participate in the celebration of my birth, ON MY BIRTHDAY. I reeeaaallly don’t like celebrating my birthday on Saturday when it was actually Monday. I know people have lives, and that’s fine. So, I celebrate my birthday, ON my birthday, myself. On that day, I do just what I was doing when I got here, nothing, as best I can. Whatever others choose to do for me, whenever they choose to do it, I am most appreciative and I enjoy it just the same. It’s just not my preference. So, I try to do that for others that I love as well. If your birthday is on Monday, hey, we all gotta eat; let’s make dinner a celebration of you!
With that said, do you think it pisses Jesus off that his birth is celebrated December 25th when there has been no empirical evidence proving that is the actual date of his birth? Probably not, the man, real or allegorical, was described as meek, mild, humble. Now, that doesn’t mean he was a wimp. Remember the temple incident? Brother didn’t take too kindly to exploiting the human spirit for your personal gain, all in the name of God – it had nothing to do with the temple, sorry, not the physical temple anyway. Read more closely, then compare this stance with other positions he is said to have taken throughout his travels. This man was not concerned about a building. So, though he was a human who awakened his divinity, he was still human and had his limits. Truthfully, I think he wouldn’t care less if his birthday was celebrated at all; a “Christ” would not be concerned with personal glorification and recognition, but with others actually celebrating the birth of their own Christ selves.
But, and herein lies the CALL TO ACTION, if Christians are convinced that celebrating the birth of Jesus the Christ is essential to the Christian journey, then why not put forth a little energy and effort to actually find out when the man was born. There is enough money in the Christian community to fund the research. All of these Pastors with multiple campuses, international ministries, lear jets, and publishing companies have the financial wherewithal to do it. They, the 700 Club, and others like them – why don’t they fund the research? Rather than shaking their literal fingers at everybody in the mall at Christmas time, shaking their heads at Facebook videos of people trampling over each other to get into Walmart, tsk-ing at media reports of the increase in homes and cars being burglarized and women’s purses being snatched during the Christmas season, ridiculing and reprimanding parents for spending money they could be putting into the collection plate – why not take your Christ out of this commercial lake of fire and celebrate him in the fashion he deserves?! If this is your Lord and your Savior then honor him in a more glorious way.Why won’t you take your Christ out of Christmas?! Why won’t the entire Christian community refuse to celebrate Christmas until the actual birth date of the Messiah is discovered?
Now, for those who believe that the Jesus story is purely allegorical, this whole birthday celebration thing may be of no concern to you, except that you hate to see the way people behave, how department stores put price tags on garbage and peddle it to consumers. It might actually bother you that your human brothers and sisters are so caught up in a web of lies and deceit, innocently, yet vehemently following traditions that have long since lost their meaning. Your concern might sincerely be that mankind truly awakens to his own divinity, his own God-self, that he gives birth to the enlightened Christ within him before, out of manipulated ignorance, he carts the whole world off to hell in a hand basket.
Then, herein lies your CALL TO ACTION, why don’t you step out of the blinding glare of your own enlightenment and in love, not disdain, help the Christian community take Christ out of Christmas. Don’t just talk about it, do it. Be the change you want to see; you’ve heard that before. Show the world what being a Christ looks like. Spread your message that there is a Christ in each and every person waiting to be awakened, waiting to be birthed. Call for a boycott of Christmas shopping on the grounds that retail conglomerates intentionally bring out the worst in people, fuel the have vs have more competition, and corrupt our children with materialism. Promote a season of the year in which we all strive for “peace on earth, goodwill toward men”.
CALL TO ACTION TO DO’S
• Rally outside shopping malls with signs that say: SPEND WISELY, SLOW DOWN, RESPECT YOUR FELLOW SHOPPERS, WATCH OUT FOR CHILDREN; don’t ridicule people; don’t curse out the department stores; that only alienates people and makes you look kinda crazy.
• Flash Mob local shopping malls with Holiday songs.
**African American choirs were consistently ousted last year; hey, sing in the parking lot if you have to; go from entrance to entrance spreading your message of good will. • Schedule Holiday presentations in the malls to add a little peace and cheer to those who choose to shop.
• Set up Holiday Greeting Locations (malls, centers, grocery stores); Just say “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men”, nothing more.
These are just a few ideas of what can be done; there are so many more ways.
To all, just take your Christ, the real, the allegorical, the Jesus, or the enlightened self, OUT of Christmas and place him where he belongs.
Happy Holidays – Ramsa Moja, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Advent, Christmas, Kwanzaa – Happy New Year!