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Morning over the bay

Gandhi Speaks of Christmas

Gary Frase

Available languages: Deutsch

5 Comments
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  • J.F.Kawlkhuma

    As I am a Christian, if Jesus is not dwelling into my heart, how could I become a good believer of Christ. For me that is exactly correct, 'Living Christ means a living Cross, without it life is a living death'. So, I open my heart for Jesus to come inside. Amen.

  • Foy G. Beall

    Did you know that some criticize the season because it is commercialized? That’s true; it is. One said that children are taught to want and to covet by Christmases and birthdays. If that were true, should we stop giving to others? “I won’t give because someone might covet,” would be the motto. Terrible philosophy, is it not? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

  • Michael Ssebbaale

    Gandhi's message is really strong and I hope every one who reads this article will understand the meaning behind it. For sure Jesus didn't preach a new religion but a new life. The scripture is clear, '"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." So as Christians we must begin moving in God's will and living an exemplary life, a life full of the virtues of mercy, non-violent, full of love and truth; when we reach this level of maturity and understanding the meaning of a real new life, then the world will begin admiring the Jesus who lives in us and whom we preach to them and they will invite Him into their heart and confess Him as their personal savior and making Him known. Then we can go ahead and wish a 'Happy Christmas' with all the depth of its meaning and with a clear conscious. Whether in the west, Africa or Asia, wherever God has placed us in this world, we must be the light and salt of the world as Christians. Amen!

  • Edmond Day

    As a Catholic, Easter is the biggy, Christmas is nice but holds little for. I am 64, as a child I exploited Christmas as most children do. The 'material' aspect of Christmas I find disturbing, it dehumanizes many people. Makes them less rather than make them better. Human nature is the ever prersent challange. To supress human nature would create another evil, probably greater than the human nature problem. Somewhere in each os us is where we need to be. I am a child of the west, our culture offers little opportunity for inner developement.

  • Emmanuel Vule

    I can not say more, you have said it all. Chrismas does not mean food and drink, mery making and engagement in imoral acts. Chrimas reminds us God's love to mankind, For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that who ever believe in hiim should not perish but have ever lasting life. John 3:16. Talk to somebody about God's love for the world, tell somebody we have new life in Christ Jesus. and this the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the son has life; he who does not have the son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12. Carry the message to somebody this Chrismas.

Because Gandhi came to the message of Jesus unfettered by the traditions and doctrines that are commonly understood as “Christianity” his heart was free to respond deeply to the good news that Jesus’ advent brought to humankind. Gandhi understood Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom with greater clarity than most of us who call ourselves Christian. We’ll let Gandhi speak for himself:

I have never been able to reconcile myself to the gaieties of the Christmas season. They have appeared to me to be so inconsistent with the life and teaching of Jesus. Jesus preached not a new religion but a new life. He called men to repentance. It was he who said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven". I am sure that if He were living here now among men, He would bless the lives of many who perhaps have never even heard His name, if only their lives embodied the virtues of which He was a living example on earth; the virtues of loving one's neighbour as oneself and of doing good and charitable works among one's fellow men.

For though we (sing), "All glory to God on High and on the earth be peace," there seems to be today neither glory to God nor peace on earth. As long as it remains a hunger still unsatisfied, as long as Christ is not yet born, we have to look forward to Him. When real peace is established, we will not need demonstrations, but it will be echoed in our life, not only in individual life, but in corporate life. Then we shall say Christ is born. That to me is the real meaning of the verse we (sing). Then we will not think of a particular day in the year as that of the birth of the Christ, but as an ever-recurring event which can be enacted in every life…

When, therefore, one wishes "A Happy Christmas" without the meaning behind it, it becomes nothing more than an empty formula. And unless one wishes for peace for all life, one cannot wish for peace for oneself. It is a self-evident axiom, like the axioms of Euclid, that one cannot have peace unless there is in one an intense longing for peace all around.
And so, as the miraculous birth is an eternal event, so is the Cross an eternal event in this stormy life. Therefore, we dare not think of birth without death on the cross. Living Christ means a living Cross, without it life is a living death.
Jesus lived and died in vain if he did not teach us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal Law of Love.

It is my firm opinion that (the West) today represents not the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips. (The West) is today only nominally Christian. It is really worshipping Mammon. 'It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom.' Thus really spoke Jesus Christ. Here you have an eternal rule of life stated in the noblest words the English language is capable of producing. But the disciples nodded unbelief as we do to this day. His so-called followers measure their moral progress by their material possessions.

I rebel against orthodox Christianity, as I am convinced that it has distorted the message of Jesus. He was an Asiatic whose message was delivered through many media, and when it had the backing of a Roman Emperor it became an imperialist faith as it remains to this day. Christ died on the Cross with a crown of thorns on his head defying the might of a whole empire.
The message of Jesus, as I understand it, is contained in his Sermon on the Mount unadulterated and taken as a whole. This teaching was non-retaliation, or non-resistance to evil. The virtues of mercy, non-violence, love and truth in any man can be truly tested only when they are pitted against ruthlessness, violence, hate and untruth. With His dying breath on his Cross he is reported to have said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

How I wish America could lead the way by devoting the season to a real moral stocktaking and emphasizing consecration to the service of mankind for which Jesus lived and died on the Cross.


All quotes taken from What Jesus Means to Me by M.K. Ghandi. Compiled by R.K. Prabhu © Navajivan Trust 1959

Gandhi
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