Is Christmas Christian?2
Is Christmas Christian?
Christmas has stood the test of time. It is doubtful that our Savior was born December 25th but it doesn’t matter. The date is not the important thing about Christmas; Jesus Christ is. Christmas is about the holy God giving His very own Son to be born as one of us and to die in our place. As we think of Advent, we give thought to what it means for God to become a man, sinless and yet fragile. That is what our Christmas hymns tell of and why we give gifts because God gave, sacrificed, the greatest gift – Jesus (John 3:16). But has our culture forgotten, or worse rejected, what Christmas is truly about? Has Christmas run full circle in meaning having begun a pagan holiday (Saturnalia) transformed by Christianity (Christmas) only to return to paganism?
What has happened? The answer is very simple but the solution is not. We have allowed the consumer industry to subtly shape the way we view this sacred celebration. It is not in the best interest of merchants and producers to encourage modest purchases. We allow ourselves to agree with the ads that tell us, “Indulge yourself,” “Your loved ones deserve it.” There is no money to be made when we value the priceless things: the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, the forgiveness of sins or fellowship with God. A visiting angel might think the spirit of Christmas morphed into an attitude of materialism? We must not make this mistake. God’s Holy Spirit has always been the real “spirit” of Christmas. The Holy Spirit lifts the Son (John 16:4) and so must we.
The removal of nativity scenes (secularization), drunken bashes, long shopping lines, fistfights in department stores and rampant materialism ought to send us racing back to a simple Gospel-centered celebration of the first advent of Christ. What else is there to celebrate? There is nothing greater than God taking on flesh and blood so that He might rescue a fallen race. We are tempted to say, “What can I do to change all this?” Before we admit defeat let us face the fact that if we do nothing we, our children and grandchildren will be poured into the world’s mold. Instead, why don’t we start small? Start at home with your own family and friends. Allow me to make a few suggestions.
- Set a limit to your spending and don’t exceed it. Resist the siren calls of materialism.
- Define Christmas Biblically. It is about the Gospel of Jesus not giving and receiving gifts.
- Determine to make it a time of worshipping Christ. Let God’s Word set your priorities. Will you have your family at church this season?
- Establish Christian Christmas traditions for your family. Find creative ways to lead your family back to Christmas’ center, the Gospel (example: Advent Celebration at home).
Perhaps we should exchange “Merry Christmas!” for “Christ has Come!” or “Rejoice in Christ!” The point is, glorify Christ or Christmas is not “Christian.”
Love You All,