Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Reflections

Nowadays and for most people Christmas is about shopping, eating, trying to find a Christmas tree or taking the fake one out of the garage and assembling it. Then there is the problem of trying to remember who sent you a Christmas card last year so that you don’t neglect to send them one this year. In some countries it has become a time to argue about whether saying to others “Happy Christmas” or “Happy Holidays’ is appropriate. Of course it’s supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus and an opportunity to give heart to some of the things he taught. Here, this Christmas, are some of the more important things he or his disciples said.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13,34-35.
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13,10. 
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12,31.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4,8.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…1 Corinthians 13.   
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5, 22-23. 
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12,10.  
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.1 John 5,3. 
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15,13.
Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippains 2,2-4.


massimiliano a. polichetti said...

one of my favorite joushua ben joseph's quotes:

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

all the best, _/\_

brahmavihara said...

Happy Buddhamas everybody. When I originally became a Buddhist, I was a supporter of the general feeling that Christmas was just a load of stressful superficial claptrap. The real beginnings of Christmas are certainly, Winter Solstice, animist or pagan observances that clearly pre date Christian or Roman observance of it. These days I have come to realize that Christmas is a celebration of generosity, that actually demonstrates the notion that generosity or Dana is a prerequisite for spiritual development. How so? Having worked in various retail businesses I came to see that many of these rely upon "The Christmas economic bulge" to give enough economic impetus to help survive the rest of the year's less certain economic inflows. Multiply this across the wider economic scene and across international borders and it is easy to see just what a great material benefit that Christmas generates globally, whatever your race, religion or location, with some exceptions. Prosperous societies are happy societies, happy societies have the time and inspiration and motivation to elevate the human condition, heavenwards, so to speak. Therefore I declare that Christmas is a festival of generosity, that actually works. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

massimiliano a. polichetti said...

has for decades now i try to deconditioning myself from the abrahamic traditions (judaism, christism, islam), but i still continue to be impressed by the beauty produced by this (as other) paths, even those theists / personalists therefore similar to abrahamism. i sometimes wonder if it touches me more, not a Christian (or just because for this?), when listen to the truly sublime "you down from the stars", or those who experience it for the christic culture absorbed by the cultural context. but maybe i get moved just for residues of cultural conditioning theistic / personalistic still operating in me and is just the (negative) pride of being able to enjoy a cultural vision by "perspective" (cf .: "when they turn away from me, i am their wings "). nice the article of vito mancuso on the italian newspaper “la repubblica” a few days ago that (i simplify) posed the beauty more than the truth as a criterion of meaning in christism.