Christmas is coming. Along with the Christmas Season is the annual controversy over the use X-Mas to replace Christmas. Many Christians view this as proof of the war against Jesus. There are church leaders who reinforce this belief. Franklin Graham stated in an interview, American Morning: A Conversation With Reverend Franklin Graham, CNN (December 16, 2005):
“for us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They’re happy to say merry Xmas. Let’s just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.”
The over commercialization and secular use of X-Mas to replace Christ is offensive to many Christians. And it should be. This is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It doesn’t matter that it is not His true birthdate. It is the day above all days that we have chosen to glorify Him. So, each year, we fight to put Christ back into Christmas. We repost messages on social media demanding and declaring the word Christmas be used – NOT X-Mas. How much time and energy is wasted on this non-issue? Too much! The truth is that X-Mas has been used to abbreviate Christmas for over 1,000 years. And its use has been by Christians. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is “Christ”. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass. Many educated Christian men who knew how to read and write Greek, used the X-Mas abbreviation in their correspondence and writings because it was easier and convenient. Others used it because it was easier than pronouncing the full Greek work: Χριστός. The Labarum, also called the Chi-Rho, uses the letters XP to abbreviate the name Christ. We See this symbol throughout Christian Churches the world over. And it is no different than using the Greek letter, Theta, a circle with a line through it, to refer to God. As Christians, we need to be familiar with the history of our beliefs – NOT all of which are based in scripture. This is one such instance. As we become offended, distracted, annoyed and angry at the use of the word X-Mas, we are drawn away from the life Jesus has called upon us to live. It takes the focus away from Jesus, where it belongs, and puts it on a word created over a thousand years ago, by Christians. In closing, I want to wish ALL of my brothers and sisters a Merry X-Mas and a Happy New Year!