This is my Pastor’s Ponderings article for the December 2016 Newsletter.
Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11 CEB
Now that I have your attention, let me explain.
As part of the “War on Christmas,” people have been pushing back on the use of the term “X-Mas.” They want to put the “Christ back in Christmas.” If you have been one of those people, you’ve been fighting the wrong fight.
I don’t have a problem using, writing or saying X-Mas.
That is because, unlike Algebra class, the X is not unknown. The X in X-Mas is Christ.
The reason is that X is the Greek letter CHI, the first letter in the title Christ (χριστὸς). The second letter, the one that looks like a “p” is actually RHO, and has the sound of the letter “R.” It is an ancient way for people to identify themselves as Christians, combining the letters CHI and RHO. It is where we get the liturgical symbol that looks like the letter P with an X through the tail, in case you’ve ever wondered where that symbol came from.
Using an X in X-Mas is identifying the ancient history of this Holy Day, the day when we celebrate a Mass in honor of the birth of Christ. If you really want to put the focus on CHRIST back in Christmas, then don’t fixate on giving gifts to your loved ones. Don’t focus on the birth. Focus on His commands
If you want to put the focus on CHRIST in Christmas:
If we want to put the focus on CHRIST in Christmas, we will do what he told his followers to do. We can share God’s love with our loved ones. We can celebrate with those close to us. But we shouldn’t stop there. It should be the starting point.
I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. … If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? – Matthew 5:44-47 CEB
Let us be ONE in Christ,
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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