Don’t be mad….it’s not what you think!
I was curious what the word Christmas actually meant…turns out it’s not as obvious as you’d think!
Yes, the first part of the word is in reference to Jesus Christ. It’s a form of the words “Christ’s mass,” or “Cristes Maesse” and was first recorded in 1038.
The word Christ (originally, Crīst) comes from the Greek word Khrīstos, a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning, “anointed.”
The second part of the word Christmas – maesse – is a version of the Latin word missa, the celebration of the Eucharist – eating bread and drinking wine in memory of Jesus, or Communion, as many of us know it.
The tradition of gathering together in church to celebrate who Jesus was and what he did for us was mostly centered around Easter and Pentecost. But because of the celebrations that occurred in December of a pagan origin, the religious community began to hold gatherings to honor the Lord. Thus the Christmas season began, and the birth of Jesus was celebrated in the winter.
So what about the “heathens” who write x-mas?! Are they taking Christ out of Christmas?! Well, turns out it’s not an elimination of Jesus at all!
Khrīstos (the origin of the word Christ) appears as “Χριστός” when written in Greek. This abbreviation first appeared in the 16th century and was in direct reference to Jesus! The intention of this abbreviation was never meant to take Christ out of Christmas.
Whatever way you look at it, who Jesus is and what he did for us is worthy to be celebrated. No matter what anyone else’s intention is, this time of advent is for you to reflect on Jesus. As Christmas fast approaches, if it’s not already in your plan, I invite you to join together in a community of faith to celebrate the birth of the savior of the world, Jesus.
Joy Bringer’s Advent