Ancient Greeks liked to abbreviate as much as we do. For example the fish logo follows from an early acronym that in Greek spells the word for fish. Those five Greek letters, ΙΧθΥΣ, reminded believers of a brief statement of faith with those letters coming from the first letters of Greek words for: “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”
When abbreviating Christmas as Xmas, the X stands for the Greek letter Chi, the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. So the X is not the problem with Xmas.
The problem comes from culture carefully wrapping Christ within the glitter of celebrating, with hiding the infant King and obedient holy family behind gaudy tinsel and bright lights. That infant had made an earthly king tremble with fear culminating in the murder of innocent children. That infant King still frightens those who would distract others with bright lights and shinny decorations.
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.Matthew 2:16 (NRSV)
I will have more to say about Matthew 2:13-23 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 29th. No early worship this Sunday.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
A Tip for Parents
I will tell about the kind deeds the Lord has done. They deserve praise!Isaiah 63:7 (CEV)
Take time with your child to recall various events in 2019, personal and communal. With each event, those what were fun or pleasant as well as those that were painful or sad, consider together how each of you experienced God in those events. If you are unsure of how God was present with you, follow the advice of Mister Rogers who recommended after national tragedies that his young viewers look for the helpers.