The letter “X” provided a wealth of inspiration for my theme, “Faith”* Following my acrostic poem, I’ve included researched notes and links 🙂
* DISCLAIMER: My faith is in Christ Jesus/Holy Bible. I write with no intent to judge other faiths/belief systems.
X marks the Cross, Savior’s name, The Christ ~ unseen, it’s
Even on my soul; my heart, Jesus-engraved. He has seeded my
Nature to bear good fruit*; and reflect His glory to attract others
Invite them into gift of hospitality ~ where generous grace in
Abundance flows: His, to me; and me, to all who would receive.
© R L Cadillac, 2017 ~ All rights reserved.
Bible verses: biblehub.com
* Matthew 7:16-18 A Tree and its Fruit
…16By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.…
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
Definition of xenia—noun, botany:
The influence or effect of pollen on the endosperm or embryo, resulting in hybrid characteristics in form, color, etc., of the derived seed. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/xenia)
Xenia (Greek: ξενία, xenía, trans. “guest-friendship”) is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship. The rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host expressed in both material benefits (such as the giving of gifts to each party) as well as non-material ones (such as protection, shelter, favors, or certain normative rights).
Chi (uppercase Χ, lowercase χ; Greek: χῖ) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet, pronounced /ˈkaɪ/ or /ˈkiː/ in English. Chi or X is often used to abbreviate the name Christ, as in the holiday Christmas (Xmas). When fused within a single typespace with the Greek letter Rho, it is called the labarum and used to represent the person of Jesus Christ. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_(letter)
Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is “Christ“. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.
There is a common belief that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”, but its use dates back to the 16th century.
“Xmas” is deprecated by some modern style guides, including those at the New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC. Millicent Fenwick, in the 1948 Vogue’s Book of Etiquette, states that “‘Xmas’ should never be used” in greeting cards. The Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage states that the spelling should be considered informal and restricted to contexts where concision is valued, such as headlines and greeting cards. The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, while acknowledging the ancient and respectful use of “Xmas” in the past, states that the spelling should never be used in formal writing.
Use of “X” for “Christ”
The abbreviation of Christmas as “Xmas” is the source of disagreement among Christians who observe the holiday. Dennis Bratcher, writing for a website for Christians, states “there are always those who loudly decry the use of the abbreviation ‘Xmas’ as some kind of blasphemy against Christ and Christianity”. Among them are evangelist Franklin Graham and CNN journalist Roland S. Martin. Graham stated in an interview:
“for us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They’re happy to say merry Xmas. Let’s just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.”
Martin likewise relates the use of “Xmas” to his growing concerns of increasing commercialization and secularization of one of Christianity’s highest holy days. Bratcher posits that those who dislike abbreviating the word are unfamiliar with a long history of Christians using X in place of “Christ” for various purposes.
The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”),. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧,[note 1] is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the OED Supplement have cited usages of “X-” or “Xp-” for “Christ-” as early as 1485. The terms “Xtian” and less commonly “Xpian” have also been used for “Christian”. The OED further cites usage of “Xtianity” for “Christianity” from 1634. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, most of the evidence for these words comes from “educated Englishmen who knew their Greek”.
In ancient Christian art, χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ’s name. In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, Χ is an abbreviation for Χριστος, as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma); compare IC for Jesus in Greek.
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