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On living up to the real message of Christmas
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 around the world. In India too, it is a public holiday and the festival is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians as well in various schools and public places. However, Christians celebrate Christmas by attending church services, decorations, feasting, exchanging greetings, gift giving, festivities, re-enacting the events of the nativity and singing carols.

Some people do feel that in the din of festivities, rituals, social commerce and consumerism, the spirit and the message of Christmas in the form of spiritual upliftment is getting lost. It is being exceeding felt that the market forces have commercialized the festival to a great extent. There is a need to seriously revisit and revive the spiritual aspect of Christmas.

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According to David Nelmes Christ's message to us, was very simple, yet religion has created  rules and guidelines to follow. The most important thing Jesus taught is not stressed enough on Christmas - live by the spirit of love. He says, "God is a God of Love and he does not teach through fear or use fear in any way."

"With Christmas upon us, many of us use this time of year to celebrate the birth of one of the greatest men to ever influence the earth. You can call him what you will and believe him to be what you want him to be, but most of these beliefs only hint to the truth of what his real message to us was and still is. If you seek to understand his message (of love), you will understand, because truth never changes," Says Nelmes while stressing the message, not the personality.

Similarly, questioning the rituals and festivities Martha Noebel says "It's that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of 'Merry Christmas' to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?"

According to Martha Noebel, Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. "If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole," she says. She urges people to look at Christmas in a new way to invite Jesus into our heart.

Michael Lerner at beliefnet.com says that Christmas has a profound spiritual message. According to him, the message is that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair since it focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation to the humanity.

"As we enter this holiday season, let us stay conscious on all these levels, resist the allure and the seductive charm of the capitalist market place and its capacity to reduce all reality and all loving to the consumption of 'things', and instead return to the deep spiritual messages of our own traditions, while lovingly supporting each other to stay true to our own deepest truths," urges Lerner.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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