Christmas is a
busy time of year. We put up tree and want it to be perfectly
decorated to show off the perfectly wrapped gifts. There are
office Christmas parties and shopping as well as school plays
(don’t say Christmas play because that’s politically incorrect).
By the time Christmas arrives we’re just plain tired of the
hustle and bustle.
morning we open gifts, some from “Santa,” then either go to
visit family and friends or they come to our homes. In spite of
all the running here and there, warm memories are made. How much
of this reflects honoring Christ and how much is done to try to
make a scripted hallmark moment come true?
The truth is,
none of it honors Christ. Parents seem worried that their
children will stop believing in the fictional Santa but don't
give a thought about their faith in Jesus. The birth of Jesus
took place in a humble manger, but that event was more important
than any event in history—except for the Resurrection. Our
attitude should be more about worshipping the King than about
creating the perfect hallmark moment.
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
There is no
gift that compares to this Gift.
doesn’t forbid getting together with loved ones and having a
good time. God established Jewish feasts and the first
Christians certainly spent time together sharing what they had
with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Scripture tells us
that Jesus enjoyed being with people while eating meals. Of
course the Scribes and Pharisees held this against Him. Jesus
called them out for their self-righteousness.
John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine;
and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and
drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, an a winebibber,
a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luke 7:33-34)
impossible to please some people. We aren’t told that Jesus
attended birthday parties but we know He attended at least one
wedding where He turned water into wine. The book of Job might
indicate that birthdays were celebrated long ago.
his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day;
and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink
with them.” (Job
offer sacrifices for them on these days, which some scholars
believe are birthdays, just in case they had sinned or cursed
God. Job loved his family and loved God. There’s nothing wrong
with having a good time with friends and family, but be sure
that you don’t sin in the process. We can be sure that Jesus
didn’t commit any sin, and Job shows the heart of a man who put
God first. As you celebrate Christmas, be sure to keep Jesus
first and put no other god before Him.
celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25, but why this day?
doesn’t tell us the day He was born, but just as with Easter, it
was joined to a pagan celebration day. December in Bethlehem is
cool and rainy, so the Shepherds wouldn’t have been out in the
fields tending their flocks. Some people believe Christ was born
in the spring, while others believe He was born in August or
The fact is,
if God wanted us to know the specific day He would have told us.
What we do know is that Caesar Augustus decreed that everyone
had to return to their own city to be taxed.
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:) to be taxed
with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.” (Luke
The trip from
Nazareth to Bethlehem in December would have been more than
difficult, especially with Mary being ready to give birth.
Christmas trees to our traditions (another pagan ritual). The
prophet Jeremiah talks about decorated trees.
the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out
of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the
axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with
nails and with hammers, that it move not.” (Jeremiah
like what we do today! Jeremiah is talking about making idols
and worshipping them. We may want the lights to shine bright and
the ornaments to all be placed perfectly, but I don't know
anyone who worships the Christmas tree as an idol.
are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be
borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they
cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch
as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy
name is great in might.” (Jeremiah
A tree is not
an idol unless you worship it. We use it mostly as a decoration
and as a place to put our gifts for family and friends. Our
gift giving is said to commemorate the visit of the Magi, but it
wasn’t until sometime after Christ’s birth that the Magi came
when they were come into the house, they saw the young child
with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and
when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him
gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew
They went to a
house, not a manger, and saw the young child, not a baby. We
like to condense the story into something that fits a Sunday
school play, but the truth is much more interesting. Are trees
and gifts acceptable for a Christian? The answer lies in your
heart. Do you worship the tree and give gifts to it? Sadly most
people don't even think about worshipping Jesus when getting and
giving presents, let alone worshipping pagan gods.
Remember His birth and
worship Him only.
we keep make warm memories (hallmark moments), and there’s
nothing wrong with that. Special ornaments are brought out each
year and they bring back special memories as we place them on
the tree branches. Gifts are chosen with love and when our
children’s eyes pop when they open a box with the special toy
they wanted, our hearts melt to see their happiness. This isn’t
wrong and Scripture doesn’t forbid it.
On the other
hand, Christmas has become more about the hustle, bustle, and
gifts than it is about Jesus. That is wrong. The gifts get more
expensive because the kids expect more each year. If they don't
get the latest video games or the trendiest fashion then they
are very disappointed. The materialism that surrounds Christmas
is wrong and is a type of idol worship. We need to teach our
children about Who gives the greatest gifts of all, and it isn’t
a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he
give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give
him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a
scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke
We want to
give wonderful gifts to our children, but if we neglect to teach
them that God gave the greatest gift of all, then shame on us.
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans
only comes through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. The gift is
free, but has to be accepted. That truth is the best gift a
child or an adult can receive.
we need to keep Jesus in our hearts and on our minds every day
of the year. We say that we celebrate December 25 as the day
Christ was born, so let’s keep Him in the forefront of our
thoughts and activities. Don’t be shy about greeting others with
“Merry Christmas.” Don't be ashamed to put up a nativity scene.
If someone is offended by it, that person needs to come to know
carols. Actually, sing Christmas carols in March, July, or
October. Christ was born and that’s a fact that should be
celebrated every day. While celebrating His birth, don’t forget
that He had to be born in order to lay down His life to redeem
us from our sins. While trying to create that perfect hallmark
Christmas, don’t forget to worship the King of kings and Lord of
lords. He is God’s gift to us every day of the year.
God bless you
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All original Scripture is “theopneustos” (God breathed).