Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and spiritual in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends, and of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. It is held every year on the 25th of December.
As it is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ, let us learn through his parables.
The Parable of the Two Friends
"Two friends went into the temple to pray. The first friend stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, blackmailers, thieves, rapists or even like my friend next to me. I fast twice a week. I give a part of all I earn to the poor.' The second friend, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his chest saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' Between these two friends, who do you think is a better person? The second friend was humble and went to heaven. The first friend was arrogant and egoistic. Jesus used to speak this parable to people who were convinced of their own purity and who despised all others. Jesus’ message was to be humble to the world.
The Good Samaritan
A person asked Jesus how one should conduct himself with others…
Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with your entire mind, and treat your neighbor as yourself.”
A bit confused, he asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"
“A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped and beat him and then departed, leaving him half-dead. By chance, a certain priest was also going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way, when a rich businessman came to the place and saw him, he also passed by on the other side. However, a certain Samaritan, as he travelled, stopped and came where that man was left. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion. He came to him and dressed up his wounds. He set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, when he departed, he took out some money, gave it to the host, and said to him, 'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' Now which of these three do you think seems to be a neighbor to the person who fell among the robbers?"
He said, "The one who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."