Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Many Folk Call Today Christmas


I suppose I can say Merry Christmas today; but, what about all the people who are Muslim or Jewish or Zoroastrian or Hindu or Pagan or Bahá’í or other Faiths…?

Holidays

Children Enjoying A Holiday

So, here are the etymologies for “Christmas” and “Holiday”:

Old English, Crīstes mæsse, the mass of Christ.

Old English, hāliġdæġ, late Old English hālidæġ, found beside hāliġ dæġ, holy day.

And, I suppose I should also share the etymology for “Mass” and “Christ”:

late Middle English : from Old French masse , from Latin massa , from Greek maza, barley cake, perhaps related to massein, knead.

Old English Crīst, from Latin Christus, from Greek Khristos, noun use of an adjective meaning anointed, from khriein anoint.

So, perhaps those non-Christians reading this can work out some fundamental meaning from those…?

Perhaps I’d come closer to the Truth if I could share some ideas that might help folks tie together the meanings behind all the Holy Days…

I found an editorial in the Toronto Sun (in Canada) called, On the Universal Message of Christmas.

It begins with these words:

“In a world that tests our faith, the meaning of Christmas can elude us.

“Not just because of the commercialism that surrounds it today, but because of so many questions that spring to our minds.

“What about those who are not of the Christian faith?

“What about those who do not believe in God?

“What about the terrorism, murders and other horrors committed in the name of religion, from ancient times to the present day.?

“What universal message is there in Christmas…?”

The editorial answers the question of the message with:

“It comes in the teachings of all the world’s great religions, when we listen to that divine spark within ourselves that desires peace and good will for all of humanity, regardless of what God we believe in or whether we believe in God.”

Then, it shares a message that could fulfill that search for universality, in many Faiths:

Christianity: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.”

Islam: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”

Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”

Buddhism: “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

Confucianism: “One word sums up the basis of all good conduct … kindness … do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”

Sikhism: “I am a stranger to no one and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.”

Bahá’í: “Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone, the things that you would not desire for yourself.”

If you’re the kind of person who ponders these things, I recommend reading the entire editorial…
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2 responses to “Many Folk Call Today Christmas

  1. Jane Watson December 26, 2017 at 8:09 am

    This is a very enlightening post and the editorial in the Toronto Sun is well worth reading. So I guess basically it comes down to: Be kind to others. Yeah. I think that works.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai December 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Thanks for the encouraging comment, Jane…

      Yeah, “that works”—like magic…

      Would that more of us could hew that line on a consistent basis—yet, there are signs that humanity will improve, finally, after thousands of years of learning………

      Like

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