The Space Between My Peers: The Christmas Wars

The Space Between My Peers

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Christmas Wars

I've been wondering: why do non-Christians celebrate at Christmas-time?

2 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

I can only speak for myself, being a Unitarian Universalist and also a non-Christian (some UU's are Christian, some are not). I celebrate several things at Christmas:

*The family-centered traditions of my childhood;
*The hope and possibilities that the birth of a child brings;
*The innocence and love inherent in the Christmas story;
*The return of the light, following the Winter Solstice;

Faith, Hope, Love and Joy.

You can't take Jesus out of Christmas. There is much to celebrate in the story of his birth, even for non-Christians. My faith calls me to listen and learn from a variety of sources. Christmas is a holiday that holds meaning for me on many levels, but mostly it is a time to be humbled by love. To reach out to those I love and to look for ways to show my love for the world in general.

After I wrote this, I did a little search to see how my answer compared with others. This is what I found:

Do Unitarians celebrate Christmas?
The answer is yes. Why? It marks the birth of a religious leader of seminal importance. The birth of Jesus stands as a symbol of the divinity inherent in every human birth. It stands for the perennial rebirth of innocence and hope in every new child. It calls to mind the values of peace and goodwill that should be with us all the year. It coincides with the winter solstice, the turning of the earth towards the light and the warmth of a new year. All these factors play a part in the Unitarian Christmas.
Unitarians do not, in the main, let it worry us that we do not know the precise date of Jesus' birth. Nor do we worry that the two quite distinct Gospel Nativity stories probably have little or no historical basis. As myth they express later beliefs about the significance of Jesus and other, more timeless, truths.
Unitarians believe that Jesus was conceived and born in the usual human manner, which in no way diminishes him -- quite the contrary. Many, though, are willing, for the season, to suspend disbelief, enter into the Christmas myth, and find at its heart a message of divine love for a world that needs it.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

If you would like to read the gospel nativity accounts for yourself, they can be found in the first two chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke. (You may scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the Bible Gateway search form.)

4:40 PM  

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