As the lights go up and decorations are added and the stores stock up on special Christmas gifts for shoppers, I wonder how many realize what the celebration is really about. “Chestnuts Roasting on the Open Fire,” I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas,” and of course, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” are the songs playing to get people in the Christmas spirit. Family traditions have been built around this time of year but few reflect the reason we celebrate and I believe it’s because the Christmas Spirit has seriously been altered so much it’s truth has been lost.
I’ve been told that Dec. 25 is a made up date, that nobody really know the exact day Jesus was born. While that may be true the date isn’t as important as the fact that He was born. Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (Because he was of the house and lineage of David) (John 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?) He came from heaven in human form to experience life and save our souls through his ultimate sacrifice.
We like to romanticize Christmas by sitting in front of a fireplace with Christmas music playing a decorated tree close by while drinking eggnog, roasting chestnuts and sitting on a warm comfortable couch with our loved ones. That’s not even close to a reflection of the actual event. Matthew 1:23 A young teenage girl riding a donkey a long way heavy with child to birth her baby in the town of Bethlehem was a real hardship. Her comfort was little in a stable with animals, hay & straw as a bed for labor pains, no warm decked out baby bed with clean blue blankets in which to wrap and lay her baby in. A stable smells so different from the smells we associate with Christmas. The fantasy Santa we’ve been led to give much honor didn’t’ come to the stable but kings and shepherds Luke 2:8 came as they were told the news by heavenly messengers (angels) Matthew 2:11 and they brought gifts in celebration. I’m pretty sure there was no tree with lights and tinsel to represent the sacrifice he would make for our eternal salvation.
Under our trees we place gifts all wrapped up in bright colored paper with shiny bows and ribbons but the best gift we could ever receive was wrapped in swaddling clothes (grave clothes) Luke 2:7 and laid in a feed manger. Yet I can picture the kings all decked out in their royal garments kneeling down on the dirty stinking stable floor in awe of the real King of all creation. Our King came and declared and taught Jehovah God’s plan and doctrine, he suffered persecution betrayal, beatings humiliation and finally death all so we could be saved from eternal damnation.
It’s easy to see, when celebrating his birth, how some of these traditions came about however they may have become more important than the original meaning.
SNOW: It’s not about snowflakes covering the ground with a clean white blanket of snow … although his sacrifice cleaned us from sin and made us white as snow.
TREE: It’s not about a tree decked with bright lights and shiny ornaments … although the tree was the instrument of execution, and there was bright red blood flowing, and he is the bright morning star like we place on the tree.
GIFTS: It’s not about the gifts under the tree although the spirit of giving is of course Jesus the most precious of gifts.
This celebration time is a great time to read about the virgin birth of our Savior Jesus. Matthew chapters 1 and 2 and Luke chapters 1 and 2 tell us of this blessed event and I urge you to take the time this year and every one to come to sit down and read what actually took place for you.
So what Is Christmas to you? You’ve heard this many times before … Jesus is the reason for the season. There is no holiday season without his birth, death, and resurrection. When we receive Jesus as our personal savior we die not but enter eternity to be with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for evermore. The ultimate gift of love!
I believe that’s something to celebrate, don’t you?
The writer is an evangelist, chaplain and member of Solid Rock Pentecostal Church of God, Sidney.