The true meaning of Christmas


Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.

AT ITS best, Christmas is a season of love. While Christians keep it as a celebration of the birth of Christ, equally it is a time to show love across all boundaries of faith, class and race. It belongs to everyone with love to share.

That being said, there is an added dimension if your religion is rooted in the Testaments of God. While details of the parenting and nativity of Jesus are written only in the Gospels of Mathew and Luke, these orally transmitted truths were widely accepted by Christian followers from the beginning. (Luke Ch:2 1-7). Historically, it seems that no doubts were expressed at the time but today many people view the two Gospel accounts as historical fiction.

Thus to dismiss the arrival of the Son of God makes a nonsense of his period of teaching and healing within the Jewish community during the three and a half years of his ministry. With the representation of the 10 Commandments as given by Moses 1,400 years before, Jesus was showing the human race how to develop a right relationship with his Father and to live peaceably together.

More than ever, we need a reaffirmation of the Decalogue in an age that has rejected law and morality. As Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind: and love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two Commandments”. (Mathew Ch: 22 vv 37-40). To me, this is the true meaning of Christmas.

For the many which are of other religions or of no faith at all, a system of ethics is still necessary for an orderly social existence, and if that were to mutate into love of one’s neighbour there is still hope for the world.