Sunday, December 17, 2017

Xmas notes

"Xmas" used on a Christmas postcard, 1910 (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)
Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - “XMAS” someone challenged when they saw the word written on a church sign board. “You’re taking the Christ out of Christmas!”

“Heavens no!” I replied. “This is not the x of unknown quantity. This ‘X’ is the Greek Letter ‘Chi’ that stands for Christ, and is prominent in so many church symbols. This puts Christ at the very centre of the celebration!”

“No crowded eastern street / no sound of passing feet / far to the left and far to the right / the prairie snows spread fair and white / yet still to us is born tonight / the Child, the King of glory.”

Do you know this hymn written by Prairie born Freida Major in 1958? Her family had settled on a long narrow lot adjacent to the Red River before the turn of the 19th Century. Since schools and hospitals were distant, Freida (born in 1891) was taught and nursed at home by her mother and nurtured within their small community. After receiving further education in Winnipeg, she eventually found work with a large financial firm in the City. But she never forgot her rural roots.

The Christmases that she knew were vastly different from the Biblical story. “No rock hewn place of peace / shared with the gentle beasts / but sturdy farm house, stout and warm / with stable, shed and great red barn …” She looks to the heavens. “No blaze of heavenly fire / no bright celestial choir / Only the starlight as of old / crossed by the planes’ flash, red and gold …”

Typical of rural life, there are “no kings with gold and grain / no stately camel train/ … for still to us is born tonight / the child, the King of glory.”

As we celebrate this Xmas Season, stand outside your door – watch and listen for news. “Jesus the Christ is come!”

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