“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:1-14
Being raised in a conservative Christian Family, I grew up with different view of Christmas.
I didn’t grew up believing the modern symbols attached to it. There were no reindeers, elves, north pole, mistletoe, toys and Santa Claus in my childhood definition of Christmas. Rather, I grew up imagining Christmas with a star, shepherds and their sheep, Angels, Wise Men, Mary and Joseph, Manger, and Baby Jesus.
Since I am in a tropical country where Decembers are cold not because of snow but because of rains, I grew up asking this: If Santa Claus exists and he goes to every house through their chimneys, how will he able to find his way to us since we normally don’t have chimneys? Crazy thinking though, but the little me has a point. It’s so easy for the western countries to imagine Santa on a sleigh and making its way through the chimney, but in our country, it’s hard to practically imagine it. And that fact really made me conclude on that very early age that he is not real.
But now, it’s clear to me. He does exist. He is in the supermarkets, shopping malls, Christmas Parties. He sometimes has a sleigh and reindeers but they never fly. He has gifts but doesn’t normally drop them on chimneys, but give them to kids that are falling in line. He sometimes roam around with elves contrary to the stories that they just stay at north pole. And north pole? There’s no toy factory there. Just northern lights and mountains of ice. As Christians, we cannot take the fact that he exists, but he is actually stealing the real meaning of Christmas.
I love how the Classical Puritans and the other faithful men of the early Christian world defend the idea that Christians should not celebrate Christmas. I truly believe that the date set by the early people was not even the actual date of Christ’s birth.
But how are we, Christians, react to this? Shall we raise our ‘hate’ banners or shall we take it as a chance to share the real meaning of it?
Today, Christmas has been a celebration not just for Christians. People who don’t believe in Christ can even celebrate Christmas and dress up to look like Santa and give toys to random kids. Anyone can ‘play good’ during this season. Anyone can celebrate it. But only few really got the real meaning of it.
We have the right to test the spirit in the modern world’s Christmas. The world that rejected Christ during the night of His birth is now celebrating it luxuriously. You might as well say that it’s because the Good News has been spread now that’s why Christmas is now welcome to everyone. But why is it that on this modern day there are still more and more difficulties on handling the truth? Why is it many false teachings are spreading across the globe? And why is it that Santa is more popular than Jesus Christ? Worse, many are even more concerned of Christmas Sales rather than studying more what the Bible has to say about the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
We spend so much money on Christmas, and whether you agree or not, there is more spirit of pride in the air during this season than the spirit of humility, submission and repentance. We boast on our Christmas Decorations, Gifts to be given, New gadgets, New dress and table full of foods. We enjoy Christmas without even knowing the true meaning of it.
God has a reason why He came to earth on that very humbling scene. He didn’t come here in a Queen’s womb who lives in a palace. He chose a Virgin Woman’s womb. He called the Shepherds instead of Palace Officials. He chose the manger rather than the soft bed. He came to earth in the unexpected place, and God has a reason for that.
Christians are called for a lowly walk. His humble entrance to this world should convict us more that Christianity is not build around being prosperous and all the selfish wants. Also, our understanding of Christ should not end on fixing our eyes on that tiny little baby sleeping on a manger. Our God is not a baby. He is powerful, majestic and shining with all His glory, and that’s greater compared to an innocent baby we always imagine during Christmas.
Christmas should also humble us down. God doesn’t owe us anything. We are the ones who owe Him something, but He chose to show His goodness, mercy, grace and love when He came and stayed for months on a woman’s womb, waited thirty years to start His ministry. His journey didn’t end on being a baby. It was just the start, and His start should remind us for a greater sacrifice that is ahead of Him.
This season should remind us of our being helpless. We don’t deserve this so much attention from God, but He chose to send His Son, Jesus Christ and become an atonement for our sins. It should remind us that salvation is not a human choice because we are not the one who said that Christ should come down and die for us. It was carefully decided since the Fall of Man, and God is the one who decided for it. And He alone will be glorified for that.
It should also remind us that salvation is not as easy as the ‘altar call’ that churches usually do every Sunday as if we are saved by our own effort to seek Him. A fallen man naturally runs away from God, and it’s only through God’s work that we will be able to turn back to Him
I have friends who really don’t celebrate Christmas, and I truly respect their decision. But how do we respond into this so much error attached to Christmas season that is getting worse every year? Should we just leave the lost people to believe that error? I don’t think so.
If you raise the banner of ‘Don’t celebrate Christmas!’ today, it will be a hard fight for us. So hard that many people will even misunderstood us. The error has been there all along and even the conservative Christians before were not able to fight and kill this error.
But the last thing this perishing world needs is not hatred. It needs love, and we are going to show this love by pointing them back to the true meaning of Christmas. I do understand that the set date for Christmas was not the real date of His birth, but this season should remind us that even in the midst of that error, the love for truth should still reign.
This is not a time for us to talk and act we know so much and correct people harshly because of believing the wrong date for Christmas. As Christians, we have responsibilities. We need to take this chance to tell them the true meaning of Christmas.
If we love the lost people around us, we should tell them that It’s all about Christ. No more, no less. It’s not about Santa and his gifts. Christmas is not about us and the gifts we want to receive. It’s all about the love of Christ and His goodness to mankind.
The true error here is not really the date because even if we have accurately discovered the true birthday of Jesus, but still celebrating it with worldly symbols, it’s still pointless. Besides, getting the actual date is not the aim of Christianity. The birth of Jesus was not done to a more modernized era where calendar dates are more accurate so that we will not search for facts in the wrong places and act as if the information we get from history can save us. It all boils down to faith, and true faith doesn’t depend on Historical facts but in Christ alone.
The thing that God needs from us is not a brain full of knowledge, but a heart that is ready to submit to Him. A heart that cries out for repentance and faith despite the vague historical data. He has already secured all the things we need to know in the Bible, and it is more than enough.
In this season of Christmas, let’s celebrate it by embracing the truth and sharing it to people. This world has been drowning into so much error and they really need a Savior. Let’s not hide Him from them and act to be better than them. They need Christ as much as we need Him. So let’s share the real meaning of this season with love. Let’s shine the light from the city on a hill.
May God bless you and Keep you. Have a CHRIST-filled CHRISTmas! 🙂
All glory and honor belongs to God alone.