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Christmas season through a different lens
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More Life to You and Joy. As the Christmas celebrations continue, many of us will visit with extended family and neighbors over the next several days.


In addition to the observance of Christmas, many individuals and families experience this time of year through the lens of their culture of origin or an alternative religious celebration. For example, Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day, which commemorates the moment when Siddhartha achieved enlightenment while seated under a Bodhi tree.


Earlier in December, Jews Celebrated Channukah with the lighting of the Menorah, and Muslims observed the birth of Muhammad on December 23 during Eid Milad-Un-Nabi. It is a joy and wonder to learn that the month of December is a holy and sacred time for so many religious traditions and family gatherings!


Beginning on Dec. 26 and progressing over the next several days is the observance of Kwanzaa. This celebration is a cultural observance that emerged out of the struggle of African-American and Black citizens during the 1960's.


For some who observe Kwanzaa, 2015 has been an active year for African-American and Black activism. For that reason, the observance of Kwanzaa is all the more significant. For our neighbors, coworkers, family members and friends who observe this celebration, each day offers a new life principle to embrace.


Seven principles guide their reflections and celebrations including: Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. As these holy days continue and you mix and mingle with family and neighbors, may each of you experience More Life and More Joy!




Rev. Mark C. Pafford