Christmas! It’s hard to believe that a holiday designed to honor the Prince of Peace would cause such dissension. On the one hand you have people who love the holiday for religious reasons and some for secular reasons as it has changed through the years. On the other hand you have people who hate it for secular reasons and some who hate it for religious reasons. Some of those who hate it for religious reasons talk about how secularized it’s become and others who hate if for religious reasons do so based on strongly held beliefs about the nature of Christmas in general.
I love Christmas time…and not just because I’m a teacher and I get some time off! There’s a bit more freedom to talk about Christ during this time and people do make an effort to be more charitable as well. There’s much that is good about Christmas!
That being said I understand full well some of the concerns of my brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t celebrate Christmas. I know the magi probably didn’t show up at the manger no matter how many there were. I know there was no drummer boy either. (Thank God for that! Can you imagine Jesus trying to sleep through all that drumming without crying?) Oh, and yes…Jesus probably cried like any other baby. Probably one of the biggest concerns of my Christian friends is that we are never told to celebrate the birthday of Jesus in the Bible and we don’t know when He really was born!
That’s right. Jesus most likely wasn’t born on December 25. I believe He was probably born sometime in March or April based on the descriptions of the shepherds in Luke. This year I heard some say they think He was born in September by people clinging to the December 25 date. (you figure that out!) Those who oppose the celebration of Christmas rightly point out that this date was chosen to coincide with a pagan feast and was meant to keep people from feeling guilty about indulging and celebrating at this time. The belief is that because we celebrate Christmas as a substitute for a pagan holiday we are dishonoring Christ. I can understand that. I disagree, but I can understand.
What I see and understand from that is that God has redeemed a day that once was used to worship false gods and made it a day to honor Him. He has redeemed a sinner like me and made me one to honor Him. He has commanded Hosea and Ezekiel to publicly do things that are contrary to His Law in order to reach His people. I can’t see God thinking that our worship at Christmas is “a slap in the face”as I saw one friend describe it.
So please let me wish you a Merry Christmas. Take the time to worship Christ. Take time to be with your family, if you can. Enjoy this feeling of peace and good will to all men while you can and share the love of Christ always.