The Christmas Holiday

14 12 2009

This time of year is a special time. For me it’s my favorite, I love the winter as the weather gets cold, the smell of fireplaces burning, the lights, and Christmas music. This month is set aside in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ. Many question whether a believer should celebrate Christmas at all due to its pagan roots. I too have thought on this quite seriously. I first want to remind all believers that nothing should be done in violation of God’s law, or if God’s law is silent on a matter then your own conscience. If a believer simply feels wrong about it then celebrating would be sinful. Paul speaks in Romans 14, of the importance of being fully persuaded in your own mind concerning eating, drinking, and regarding certain days.

It cannot be mistaken that Christmas was put at this time of year because of its proximity to pagan holidays, especially those who followed the religions of the Babylonian mysteries. One thing to consider is that the pagan roots are very ancient, and the entire world celebrates Christmas with no thought or knowledge of these roots. Should Christians ignore an event as tremendous as the birth of Jesus simply because of ancient roots? My answer is no.  The entire world recognizes this time as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which presents many opportunities for believers to present the gospel and a time for us as believers to give thanks for this gift.

One thing that separates Christianity from every other religion past or present is this event. Every religion has a god that demands of people, and asks people to die for that god, but no other God ever entered human history, and became like His people, and then rather than demanding some great task from them He gave up His own life. This is the importance of Christmas. God knew we could never reach Him, and could never atone for our fallen condition. Hebrews 2, tells us that He decided to take upon Himself our form, weaknesses, feelings, temptations, and limitations. He then gave Himself over to be tortured, humiliated, and mistreated by His own creation, ultimately giving His life to save them. There is no other event in history outside of the death and resurrection, which parallels the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is also a time to spread God’s love and goodness to those who don’t know Him. We should never lose focus or get caught up in the worldly aspect of the holiday; there is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on gifts. I usually encourage families to buy 1 gift for each other in honor of God’s gift to us and then spend the rest of the money you would have spent on the poor, especially children who may not receive much themselves. What a wonderful opportunity to make others feel loved.

There is no command in the New Testament to commemorate the birth of Jesus, all we are commanded is to commemorate Christ’s death until He returns through the breaking of bread. If you do not believe in celebrating then I don’t believe your wrong in not participating, and if you do always put a difference between the holy and profane. Do not replace the commemoration of Jesus’ birth with secular materialism.

Keep it about Him because the entire event deserves remembrance, celebration, and above all thanksgiving. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

 


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