Christmas marks the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The English word “Christmas” derives from the old English Christes maesse, or “Christ’s mass.”
The name Jesus is spelled IESUS in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. Yeshua, in Hebrew was a common name among Jews of the Second Temple Period, and is thought to be the Hebrew or Aramaic name for Jesus. In modern Hebrew, Yeshu and Yeshua are in fact the common transcriptions for Jesus.
Christian views of Jesus say that Jesus is divine, that he is the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament, and that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Many Christians do believe that Jesus is the “Son of God” (generally meaning that he is God the Son, the second person in the Trinity) who came to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by his death for their sins. Other Christian beliefs include Jesus’ birth through Immaculate Conception (virgin birth), performance of miracles, ascension into Heaven, and a future Second Coming. While the doctrine of the Trinity is accepted by most Christians, a few groups reject the doctrine of the Trinity, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural.
Jesus’s teachings stirred the hearts of the masses. Jesus emphasised humility above all else. Once the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And again, “He who is greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” [Matthew 23:11-12]
Jesus also tells us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” Significantly, he adds, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
This day, I meditated a little on the three-fold teaching of the Master to his dear disciple, Peter, as they were sailing in a boat. In this teaching of Jesus is summed up the secret of the practice of silence and meditation.
- “Peter, thrust out a little from the Land!” That is, be not of the earth, earthy. Be detached. Let not the earth—its pleasures and possessions and power— hold you captive. Leave the earth for a while, and know that you are the child of the Spirit.
- “Launch out into the Deep!” That is, enter into the depths within you. In the depths within is he, Thy Master and Thy Lord. Enter into the depths and consider His love, His Wisdom, His Strength, His Joy and His Peace. In the depths within, be alone With the Alone and let his love and compassion fill your entire being.
- “Let down your nets for a draught!” That is, open your hearts to receive the rich treasures which the Lord giveth in abundance to him who ventures into the depths within to meet him.
Receive—and then come and spend them in the service of those who suffer and are in pain. Be a channel of God’s mercy to a broken world!