Advent: Christ is in the "X"

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Sunday - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM Worship Service

by: Denise Robinson

12/23/2021

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More today from Ace Collins about Christmas vs. "Xmas." Since its very beginning "X" has been linked to Christianity. X is the first letter of Christ's name in Greek, so many Christians put an X over their doors to display that people of faith lived in the house. For centuries, those who couldn't read used the letter X when asked to write their faith on a piece of paper. Everyone knew that letter signified a follower of Jesus. 


The letter X's association with Christmas can be traced back to when the church first started celebrating the holiday in AD 320. For more than a thousand years many church leaders wrote "Xmas" rather than Christmas for a number of reasons. As most believers couldn't read, using an X provided instant recognition. Also, a majority of people knew that "mas" meant worship. Therefore, when the letter X and the word mas came together, Xmas meant "worship Christ."

Though some today might use Xmas as a way of trying to remove Christ from Christmas, those who know the origin of this practice have an opening to use it to share their faith. They can point out that for centuries X identified Christians, and Xmas actually means "worship Christ." The key for drawing people into understanding faith is having a Christlike attitude. This Christmas, teach like Christ taught.

While there are elements of other Christmas songs that predate this one, this carol is likely the oldest that is still sung with original music and lyrics. Penned in Latin more than eleven centuries ago, except for being translated into scores of languages, it has remained all but unchanged. When we sing this song, we are fully connected to countless generations who have worshipped a Savior during Christmas. 

O come, O come, Emmanuel;
and ransom captive Israel, 
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, desire of nations bind
all people in one heart and mind. 
From dust thou brought us forth to life;
deliver us from earthly strife.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
More today from Ace Collins about Christmas vs. "Xmas." Since its very beginning "X" has been linked to Christianity. X is the first letter of Christ's name in Greek, so many Christians put an X over their doors to display that people of faith lived in the house. For centuries, those who couldn't read used the letter X when asked to write their faith on a piece of paper. Everyone knew that letter signified a follower of Jesus. 


The letter X's association with Christmas can be traced back to when the church first started celebrating the holiday in AD 320. For more than a thousand years many church leaders wrote "Xmas" rather than Christmas for a number of reasons. As most believers couldn't read, using an X provided instant recognition. Also, a majority of people knew that "mas" meant worship. Therefore, when the letter X and the word mas came together, Xmas meant "worship Christ."

Though some today might use Xmas as a way of trying to remove Christ from Christmas, those who know the origin of this practice have an opening to use it to share their faith. They can point out that for centuries X identified Christians, and Xmas actually means "worship Christ." The key for drawing people into understanding faith is having a Christlike attitude. This Christmas, teach like Christ taught.

While there are elements of other Christmas songs that predate this one, this carol is likely the oldest that is still sung with original music and lyrics. Penned in Latin more than eleven centuries ago, except for being translated into scores of languages, it has remained all but unchanged. When we sing this song, we are fully connected to countless generations who have worshipped a Savior during Christmas. 

O come, O come, Emmanuel;
and ransom captive Israel, 
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, desire of nations bind
all people in one heart and mind. 
From dust thou brought us forth to life;
deliver us from earthly strife.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
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