I was born into a Christian family and I remember many of my childhood Christmases. Christmas was a time to eat, drink and enjoy many things we didn’t have during the rest of the years, particularly as a ‘middle-class’ family, it was a time when we the kids got more wears, received more cash and enjoyed more love. People who were usually tough and hard during the rest of the year went on a ‘break’ from their usual meanness. There were lots of shows, parties, carnivals etc. We also had fun with fireworks.
At church we read passages of Jesus’ birth, memorized some scriptures, acted Christmas plays, sang carols etc. I grew up celebrating Christmas the ‘usual’ way. Looking back at those years now I can’t really say it was really about Christ because Church was the only place we added a Jesus effect to the whole Christmas show. He didn’t seem welcome beyond the borders of the Church vicinity, even on Christ’s birthday we still had a way of giving unto ‘Caesar’ what was Caesar’s and gave the little we thought was best to give to Christ himself. It looked just like the Christmases we saw in the movies and heard songs about.
There was no reason to believe there was something wrong with ‘our’ Christmas. At the time I was growing up, my father was still drinking beer and Christmas was a time when he and his friends would have time to sit together and do what drinkers do when they come together – drink the more. So, Christmas was a time for them to drink more! ‘Usual’ Christmas as the world would love us know.
Later on in life I came across a denomination that didn’t ‘celebrate’ Christmas. To me, then, it looked out of place for followers of Christ not to celebrate their Lord’s birthday. The ‘doctrine’ was not new to me as I had known of a sect that taught that Christmas was a pagan celebration but I paid no attention to them as they were known to disagree with many things that mainstream Christianity practised. Here I was in a mainstream Christian denomination and they wanted to spoil Christmas for me.
This time around I quizzed about why this denomination doesn’t regard Christmas and found out that apart from their view that Jesus wasn’t born in December but sometime in October and that the 25th December date was actually picked by pagans and blah blah blah, they frowned at ‘Christmas’ because people celebrated the devil more than they celebrated Christ. True. That made me look back at my childhood ‘Christmases’ and I saw indeed that we usually left Jesus out of his own party, poor!
This month I happened to be at that denomination once again and mention was made about Christmas. The pastor told the story of a man of God who was said to have seen a vision where God and the devil were having a discussion. The devil told God that he loves Christmas because people did more of his will than the will of the Christ they claim to celebrate. Sad!
So, if all you do this Christmas is eat, drink and party, I’d love you to know the devil is smiling at you and you are not ‘truly’ celebrating Christ. Christ was born for a purpose and it is worthy that you make that purpose evident at his next birthday celebration. He came to save the world from sin, do not celebrate sin. Share love. Make Christ glad he came.
I am not interested in going into an argument to prove whether Jesus was born in December or that I share the same birth month (October) with Him. And, sincerely I don’t think He cares about that too, ‘For this reason let no man be your judge in any question of food or drink or FEAST DAYS or new moons or Sabbaths.’ (Colossians 2:16). ‘HE WHO KEEPS THE DAY, KEEPS IT TO THE LORD; and he who takes food, takes it as to the Lord, for he gives praise to God; and he who does not take food, to the Lord he takes it not, and gives praise to God. I AM CONSCIOUS OF THIS, AND AM CERTAIN IN THE LORD JESUS, THAT NOTHING IS UNCLEAN IN ITSELF; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is unclean.’ (Romans 14:6, 14) . [Emphases are mine and the scriptural passages are from the Bible in Basic English (BBE).]
All I want to do is encourage you to celebrate a true Christmas, a birthday party for the risen Christ where he would feel welcome. A true Christmas with Christ at the centre of it will lay to rest the argument of whether the festival is pagan or Christian.
Honour Christ during Christmas and even after; honour Him forever more. I would have loved to end this piece by saying Merry Christmas but somehow I don’t feel that word right now so I would just say: Have a Christly Christmas. Jesus is Lord and He will be back again (Maranatha).