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Christmas message 2023

Dear Friends I am indebted to Bishop Richard for this message.

Christmas is the Christian celebration of Christ’s birth. Interestingly, it is highly unlikely that Jesus of Galilee was born in December. Yet it is not harmful to celebrate his birth at this time of year, because it is the birthday of the Light of the World, an ancient archetype Yeshua the Anointed One. The Hebrew word Messiah becomes in Greek, ‘Christ’ – Anointed One. During the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine who converted the Empire to Christianity in 325AD, the church authorities choose to celebrate Christ’s birth on the 25th December both to keep with the cult of Mithras – the most popular faith of the people – and to overshadow any other Pagan or Jewish holidays being celebrated at that time of the year. We, the Christian Church of the way, choose to continue to celebrate at this time of the year, not to overshadow the other religions’ traditions, but to join with them in celebrating essentially the same thing. We celebrate the God of Light, the Light of the World, coming forth from the womb of the Virgin Mary. This is essentially what other world religions celebrate at this time of year, as well. We recognize that Jesus was an incarnation of the Light of the World, and that his mother Mary was a channel of, or perhaps even an incarnation of the World Mother, the Universal Mother.

Advent is traditionally a season of preparation prior to Christmas. It is marked by lighting four candles for the four Sundays of Advent, the four Sundays that come before Christmas. There are typically three purple candles and one pink or rose-coloured candle, which are placed in a wreath. called the Advent Wreath. Two candles are lit on the first two Sundays, the pink-coloured one on the third, and the last purple one on the fourth. The Advent Wreath has its origins in pre–Christian Germanic customs, with a few customs also coming from Judaism and the lighting of the eight Hannukiah candles.  The purple candles represent royalty and penance, while the pink-coloured one represents joy and love. Advent is a time rich in multi-cultural tradition.
As we celebrate the great season of Christmas may we always remember that Jesus entered our world not like a human but as a human.

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