I hear a lot this time of year from people who — whether out of sincere concern to “do it right,” not be involved with anything ungodly and honor GOD in all they do or out of legalistic self-righteousness, a question of motivation that I will leave between them and GOD — question the origins of Christmas as a “pagan” holiday or whether we have the timing just right. There are many stories of how Christmas came to be a December holiday, not out of any correlation to His actual birthday but as a Christian replacement/alternative to the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice; or how He was actually born in spring or fall. Be that as it may…..my two cents worth on this argument:
The when is really irrelevant! Any day you want to take the time to honor and remember Him is a good day to do so — regardless of the origins of the scheduling of the holiday. They don’t own time and the calendar and can’t reserve and define a day just for “their” purposes. It all belongs to God and what I or you do with it, is a reflection of what is truly in my/your heart.
If it is merely commercialism, duty and obligation, probably best if you leave the celebrations for another time or forego them altogether. If it is love for God, appreciation for what He has done for us and true desire to pass that love onto family and friends — because I/you WANT to, not because we HAVE to — go for it. After all, Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples–that you have love one for another.”
It seems to me that this is just another application of the law of liberty in Romans 14 where Paul instructs the churches to show love equally to the believers of weaker and stronger conscience and not to judge one another nor consider themselves superior to another because of differing views as to the practice of righteousness according to the requirements of GOD. There is nothing more holy about celebrating one day or another, or not — as long as you are acting according to what you honestly believe GOD is asking of you. But neither is there any call to place the same requirement on anyone else. GOD can put that on their hearts Himself, if that is something He requires of them. Nothing in the Bible fixes nor forbids a specific day or manner of celebrating His birth. So it really is a matter of personal conscience between an individual and GOD; and as always the highest commandment is to love GOD and love people first and foremost.
Yes–you can express love without gifts and calories; and if those things get in the way of celebrating the true reason for the holiday and cloud your heart with distractions, by all means, create a new tradition instead. But there is nothing inherently wrong with presents, cookies, candy, Christmas trees (which I may add, the trees themselves are GOD’s creation from the beginning anyway and all Creation declares HIS glory) decorating, singing carols, holiday parties and so on. So, if those things are burdensome, don’t do them simply out of onerous obligation and heavy tradition! But, if they get you in the spirit of loving and appreciating GOD, family and friends, don’t let anyone guilt you for or talk you out of the way you celebrate and express love!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE — regardless of how you celebrate, or don’t! GOD came to Earth in human form because He loves you and made a way to redeem you so you can spend eternity with Him. That’s a reason to celebrate any day, any week, any month of any year!
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12