It seems at Christmas, we find many people focused on the perfect gift or purchasing a bevy of them, while some become engrossed in their doctrinally-imposing debate, it’s “origins”. Most agree such as I, that Dec 25th was not the day that Jesus was born, but rather the date chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to Christianize the pagan Roman celebration of Saturnalia in the fourth century, which was a week-long festival of overindulgences that began with ritual and sacrifices in the Temple of Saturn.
For those who adhere to the “origins” debate, December 25th can only be another big X on your calendar, just like Halloween and Easter. Yet others such as myself, rather choose to agree with 1 Corinthians 10:23-30, knowing as Paul taught to the first-century Christians that though meat may have been sacrificed to an idol, they were free to eat without a guilty conscience and in so doing, were not honoring the idol. Otherwise, you are bound by your own condemnation and cannot rightfully participate in “any” holiday that can be traced to pagan roots, which undoubtedly most traditional holidays are, which include one’s own birthday that some scrupulously omit.
Yet Christmas is not about a date on the calendar, gifts beneath a tree, or Santa and his reindeer. Christmas is about “Emmanuel”, God with us. It’s not about celebrating the 25th of December, but the day (whichever day it was) that the “Word became Flesh” and dwelt among us. God sending His Son for us is something to celebrate 365 days a year. We don’t need one day of the year, in fact, how can one day contain Him? If the world wants to set aside December 25th as a day to recognize His birth, I’m certainly going to cease that opportunity and invitation to share the greatest gift ever… the Savior’s birth with them. I do so with a clear conscience, having renewed my mind in His Word and giving Jesus all the glory and in so doing, I’m not worshiping a pagan god or some tree. (1 Corinthians: 8).
When we do, we become the light of Christ spreading through our communities, bringing tidings of good news and sharing the greatest gift of all… Jesus.
Jesus… the light of Christmas.
© By S.A. Tower, 2015