Summary: The abbreviation ’Xmas’ annoys some Christians but it has a message worth hearing.
Xmas or CHRISTmas ?
I used to get annoyed when I saw the word ‘Xmas’ as an abbreviation for ‘Christmas’ as it seemed to take something of the wonder out of the story of Jesus coming to our world as a baby in order to become the Saviour of the World. It was all part of the commercialising this wonderful Christian festival by removing the most important character, another step in it’s downgrading, now reduced to calling it ‘the winter festival’.
But there’s always another point of view which helped to accept the abbreviation, although reluctantly. I read in a parish magazine that the word ‘Xmas’ is actually a Christian invention! The ‘X’ is the abbreviation of the name ‘Christ’ which began with the Greek letter ‘Chi’ which is written as an ‘X’. So what does this tell us?
When you received Christmas or birthday cards from your mum and dad or a family relation or friend, it’s quite likely they signed their name and then added an ‘X’ or perhaps several ‘Xs’, telling you that the sender loves you very much! So when we see ‘Christmas’ written as ‘Xmas’ it can remind us that God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to show us the way back to God.
The letter ‘X’ is also the symbol of a cross, reminding us that Jesus’ love for us took him all the way from the stable to the cross.
There’s also another use of the letter ‘X’. It’s part of the word ‘cross-road’. When you get to a cross-road, you have to make a choice as to which of the two roads you should take. ‘Xmas’ or ‘Christmas’ gives us an opportunity to make a decision as to how we’re going to follow Jesus. Is it to go the way of selfishness, looking only after your own interests, or to walk the way of Christ and discover Him as our Lord and Saviour? Jesus is a real gentleman. He won’t force Himself on us. I do hope you had a very happy ‘Xmas’ and it will be a wonderful New Year if you trust in Him.