Often at Christmas time, we hear people talk about how Christ is being kept out of Christmas.
What do they mean?
Often, they are objecting to that common abbreviation, Xmas. Perhaps you’ve seen our church sign, which has ‘Xmas Eve’ and ‘Xmas Day’. Have we taken the Christ out of Christmas?
You know, there are people who say, ’We don’t worship X!’ ‘We worship Christ! It’s Christmas, not Xmas!’
You know what the problem is with that? We did it first. We Christians put the ‘X’ there first.
The first Greek letter of Christ looks to us like an X. It’s actually called ‘Chi’. So the letter Chi—‘X’—is a shortening of Christ. And what we pronounce ‘Xmas’ is just a shortening of Christmas.
Why was Chi, ‘X’, used as an abbreviation for Christ in the early days of Christian faith? It’s simple, really. Paper was a rare commodity in those days, so they shortened words so they could fit more words in. They didn’t even use punctuation!
So we can shorten the word Christmas today, where space is scarce—like on our church sign outside.
Writing ‘Xmas’ doesn’t take Christ out of Christmas. Not one bit.
But there is a very simple way to take Christ out of Christmas, and it is this: forget the poor. Continue reading