This past summer I met a friend in the local paint store and he stated that he had not seen my name in The Terrace Standard for a while.
He was referring to a couple of letters regarding some atheist remarks by another writer. Well, with Christmas approaching I thought, why wait until another atheist challenge, so here it is:
It is interesting to observe the hype of the Christmas season in our society. People are busy with Christmas lights (sometimes in a competitive way with their neighbours), stressing about presents and family visits, staff parties, the Christmas tree and wrestling a Mr. Bean-sized turkey.
We are so busy and occupied that there is no time to attend an actual church service to mark this “holiday”. That word actually comes from “holy day” so the actual centre of this occasion is often forgotten. Of course Christmas is one of the most central feasts of Christianity, only second to Easter which is another holy day.
This time of year we also look forward to New Years, which is actually not a holy day.
This year we are looking at 2017 AD (Anno Domini), which shows that apparently the actual birth of Christ 2,017 years ago was significant enough that the world changed the whole calendar around it. This was established by Christendom in the 6th century and eventually used worldwide.
Someone said “the birth of Christ was the hinge of all of human history.”
After that, in just over three months, we have two holidays in quick succession: Good Friday and Easter.
Easter again has become an interesting occasion of egg-depositing chocolate bunnies (best when from Switzerland) and children hunting for Easter eggs. Once more it often leaves no time to attend a service marking this highest feast of Christianity.
Easter celebrates the resurrection of this Christmas child, which was three days after He was brutally executed on a Roman cross. It was obviously a miraculous event, and was even foretold before it happened.
The Catholic Church actually celebrates the Holy Triduum (three days) commemorating the institution of the Eucharist (last supper) on Holy Thursday, followed by the crucifixion on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Christ actually was only 33 years old and one has to ask what got him killed?
In order to make sense of these remarkable stories, one would need to see what happened in the 33 years between those events which are now celebrated as holidays.
Well, it has been recorded in very short writings. For example Luke’s gospel and his writing called the “Acts of the Apostles” (both easily found online) tell the story of the first Easter and the developments after – it’s worthwhile reading and should take no more time than hanging up the lights and wrestling with that giant turkey.
Merry Christmas to all readers. (I am sure the turkeys could do without it.)