after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not
after Christ – Colossians 2: 8 (KJV)
Since the early 20th century, Christmas has been a secular family holiday, earmarked for some elaborate exchange of gifts, festive parties and music, and get-togethers that spring up happy memories. Christmas, to most, feels like the happiest time of the year. With sparkling lights displayed, designated trees, and wrapped boxes, the Christmas season is eagerly anticipated by Christians and non-Christians across the globe.
One should wonder how the date – December 25th – was agreed upon as the official date of the birth of Jesus since there was no mention of it across the New Testament or the Bible at large.
December 25th, as the birth date of Jesus, needs to be clarified and arguable. The story behind this date is that it was the day of Christianizing of a popular holiday in the Roman Empire known as dies solis invicti nati (day of the birth of the unconquered sun). This Roman holiday was to celebrate the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun. So initially, there was a narrative that connected the birth of Jesus with the rebirth of the sun.
Now that we have a little hindsight into the inception and origin of Christmas, we ask ourselves the following questions:
Should Christians celebrate it?
Is doing so Biblical?
I have a few points; follow me.
CHRISTMAS: NOT DIRECTLY WORDED IN THE BIBLE
As I get familiar with my Bible more, I realize that the celebration of Jesus Christ's birthday is not commanded like the holy communion that Jesus said we should do in His remembrance (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
The Bible is my basis of truth. The Word of God is the living manual for me as a believer. So, I have blind faith and an open-minded trust in the Word of God. The Word is life, after all (John 6:63-70).
The sole aim of writing this is to bring into clear light some perspectives concerning the celebration of Christmas, its impact on the entire world, and how it affects the salvation of humankind.
It should not be seen as a way of discouraging people from stopping celebrating it or for them to get disenchanted with the thrills of that season; it is only to put out information and dig some truth that ultimately describes this celebration in tandem with the Bible.
Christmas as a word is not found in the Bible. Jesus made no case of His birth either to celebrate it or NOT. The Apostles and the disciples of Christ also placed little emphasis on it. As mysterious and miraculous as the birth of Christ was, it was only rendered as a single event that initiated a greater purpose for the salvation of humanity.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
The greater purpose of the salvation of humankind mattered more to God, and no one dwelled on this when it started.
CHRISTMAS: THE ORIGIN
As stated in the opening section of this article, where the origin of this holiday was detailed, it can be strictly denoted that it was not a celebration that had Christ at the center of it at the beginning when it was being introduced to the Church.
According to these findings, one can tell that the celebration of Christmas has an embellishment of traditions not laid down by Christ or not found in any of His teachings. So, this carelessly found its way into the early Church.
Every believer is acutely aware of the warning against paganism.
"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen," Jeremiah 10:2 (KJV)
"For the customs of the people are vain.." Jeremiah 10:3 (KJV)
"..but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts and with your idols." Ezekiel 20:39 (KJV)
CHRISTMAS: A CELEBRATION THAT IS GLOBALLY ACCEPTABLE WORLDWIDE
The worldwide nature of the celebration of Christmas by some people in an ungodly manner by engaging in some vices and corrupt practices at the time of the celebration qualifies it as what the Bible calls "the things of the world."
The Bible is apparent in the red-flagging of the things of the world. The extravagance, the decorations, drunkenness, partying, reveling, clubbing, the noise, and the no-sober nature, are signs of what we should be wary of as believers.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15)."
"And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15)."
Christians have also been warned in Galatians 4:10-11 to not give preference to days of the year such as this because the Lord is not pleased with them.
It says, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
CONCLUSION: SHOULD YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
Although I do not come out of this with the anticipation of changing anyone's mind about how Christmas should be celebrated, I strongly hope for moderation in all that we do as believers (Philippians 4:5-7).
Holidays will forever remain part of our lives, and it should not unnecessarily be Christianized. Though Jesus did not expressly command us to celebrate Christmas or NOT, as believers worldwide, the purpose of Christ's birth should be in the fulcrum of our hearts, and it should help cement our relationship with God.
Jesus' birth should be celebrated every day rather than on some designated day of the year. The Bible says the Lord loaded us daily with life benefits, so we should honour Christ with whatsoever we are doing (Psalm 68:19).
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)."
And if you make a personal decision to celebrate Christmas, it is possible to do so if you honor God with all sincerity and pure heart.
Possessing this knowledge of Christmas and celebrating it with the right mindset can work. Just do it right with the fear of God and ensure to please Him in all your ways (Proverbs 3:6-7).
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