By Robert C. Frank
How should we understand Christmas in the 21st Century? Christmas has always been a time to honor Jesus Christ and it was intended to be a celebration of his birth. However, his actual birth date is unknown and information about his birth and early life is so limited that his birth was not celebrated until the 4th century. Since the specific date of his birth was not known, the Christian leaders at that time decided that it should be celebrated on December 25 because of the need for a winter holiday and a pagan holiday already existed on that date. So, Christmas became a holiday jointly celebrated by both Christians and the secular world and it has retained that tradition even today.
During his life, Jesus became the ultimate servant leader by loving and caring for everyone his life touched and teaching them to also become servant leaders aiding each other. When asked which was God’s greatest commandment, he said, “Love God with all your heart and mind and love others as yourself.” Translating those commandments into the civilization of our modern world means that every single life is equally important and human relationships are preserved by teamwork and forgiveness.
In our world today, Christians celebrate Christmas by attending church services where they share their love for God and each other. Listening to the beautiful Christmas music produced by the teamwork of choirs and musicians is an unusually inspiring experience. Parents spend extra time with their children decorating the home, preparing the food for Christmas dinner, sharing gifts, and playing games. Everyone works together to make each other happy. That is the wonderful life that Jesus taught us.