Christmas is in the air. Christmas ‘buzz’ is all around us. On this 4th Sunday of Advent, we are reminded to keep our focus more closely and more especially now to the coming of Christ. Let us not just focus on how we celebrate Christmas or who are we celebrating it with, but more so on why do we celebrate Christmas. Christmas is called so because of Christ- the child lying in the manger. Yes there are people who would suggest (for the sake of inclusiveness they’d argue) that this time is a special holiday. But there is no denying that when we take on this holiday, it is because it is Christmas. Let me share with you a definition of Christmas by an Irish priest, Fr Flor McCarthy (SDB). I have shared this at the Carols by Candlelight at the Park last Sunday. The:
C for Christmas ‘stands for Christ. If we leave him out of Christmas, it is like celebrating a wedding without the groom. H stands for the hope he gives us- the hope of a life without end. R stands for the revolution he began: turning hate to love, war to peace, and everyone into everyone’s neighbour. I stands for Israel, the land where he was born. But it also stands for me. For Christ could be born a thousand times in Bethlehem, but it would all be in vain unless he is born in me. S stands for the salvation he brought: those who lived in darkness saw a great light. T stands for thanks- [giving] thanks to God the Father for the gift of his Son. The best way to say thanks is to make room for him in our hearts. M stands for Mary who (through her amazing Yes and trust in God’s will) brought Jesus to birth. A stands for the angels who at his birth sang: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.’ It was the sweetest music ever heard on earth. S stands for the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem. Now Christ is the star we follow. His light will guide us through the night until the sun of eternal day dawns upon us.