Affan Abdullah is a Muslim American. He doesn’t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. He feels, however, that we can find basic common ground and beliefs, no matter our faith or non-faith.* What is this common ground?
We offer each other holiday wishes, often along these lines:
- A wish that we all will live up to the values the holidays represent, not just talk about them.
- A wish that we will live into the spirit of the season, helping those who need it and sharing with others from whatever we have.
What is the spirit of Christmas?
- For children old enough to recognize that difficulties, trouble and disappointments have entered their lives, Christmas offers hope. Tradition records that Jesus described humanity as filled with both the characteristics of God and with self-defeating tendencies. Christmas brings the hope that good will overcome the bad, and Jesus laid out his way of doing that.
- The need for community and fellowship. Jan Sutton sees the weeks of festivities and reunions as a way to hold communities together. She points out that there is nothing religious about giving and generosity.*
- Spiritual intensity. Marianne Williamson, herself a non-Christian offer this: “One doesn’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the fact that Jesus is a magnificent spiritual force. Jesus gives to Christmas its spiritual intensity, hidden behind all the… sounds of the season.”
“Because no words are as powerful as our human lives.” (Scott Korb)
We can respect the powerful life of Jesus as a figure of peace and authentic justice….. Jesus as someone who fed the poor and comforted the grieving. Christians remind themselves of the good work Jesus began and of his call to do them to do likewise.
Tweetable: Christmas brings hope to children and all of us that the good will overcome the bad. Click to Tweet
Children need to know there are so many ways spirituality fosters community, not division and strife. Click to Tweet
*USA Today, 12/21/14