Friday, December 24, 2004
The Power of a Good Story.
Tomorrow marks the birth of one of the most significant figures in history Jesus of Nazareth even if the story of his birth is a bit tangled.
It seems Christ’s mass, the birthday we celebrate, was shifted from an earlier date in March by Emperor Constantine, to replace a pagan mid-winter ceremony.
Adding to the mix of a pagan feast and religion is the entry of the fourth century Bishop Nicholas of Turkey who gave small gifts to the poor. Somehow he was transformed into Father Christmas and domiciled at the North Pole.
Victorian commercialism introduced the cards and the trees and I presume the feast and concept of Boxing Day (the day left over food was boxed up and given to the poor). And each year we add further to the commercialism. In the Southern hemisphere we struggle with being in the wrong season, although with the weather this year you wouldn't know!
Never the less the power of Christ’s parables about honesty morality and kindness to others remains as powerful as ever and has become the guiding myths of Western Civilization.
And the saving grace of rampant commercialism is the introduction of modern ideas of family togetherness and family values.
Have a happy Xmas, and a special greetings to all those who I have worked with in 2004.