Monday, December 24, 2007

Bon nadal! / ¡Feliz Navidad! / Joyeux Noël! / Merry Christmas!/ Happy Christmas!

As I post this, it has already been Christmas for up to seven hours elsewhere in the world. If you are east of New York, please forgive my tardiness.

It's amazing how many languages* have a way of greeting/blessing on this day** we celebrate the birth of a baby to a working-class woman in an out-of-the-way place in an out-of-the-way land.

Jesus never traveled more than a couple of days' walk from his birthplace (unless you count his infancy in Eygpt), yet has made such an impact that nearly the entire world uses a calendar based on the date of his birth.

At his death on a cross, a Roman officer said of him, "Surely this man was the Son of God!" Could his life and death have had such an impact on the world if he had not been?

* The 4 languages in the title represent some of my ancestry (Catalan, Castilian, French, English--US and UK). (Not enough room in the title for them all, but I'm also German, Scots-Irish, Original American, and Dutch. I'm a true American.)

** Many celebrate 25 December as Christmas, but many celebrate 6 or 7 January. We actually don't know what date Jesus was born. Our best estimate (based on historic and astronomical events as recorded in the Gospels) is that the year was 4 BC. Yes, our calendar was based on earlier which estimates we now consider inaccurate.

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