If you believe everything you read about Christmas on the internet, you could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that it is a bit of a farce as far as holidays go. A quick read of some Google results for “History of Christmas” will tell you that it is the conglomeration of a whole bunch of holidays form a large number of cultures throughout history where a stack of traditions have been rolled into one gigantic consumeristic nightmare. A date was picked for it and away we go. One can definitely see these days that Christmas seems to be getting less to do with Christ, and more to do with a thousand other things.
So why on earth, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, should I take part in it at all. After all, it could be true that celebrating Christ’s birth at the end of the year has just been a late tag on to already existing festival times from various cultures. Why don’t I celebrate it at another time? A time that isn’t cluttered with Santa, Tree’s, Bon-bon’s, shopping, snow-men, elves’. Hmm..
Well, when I think about it. I am glad that someone, somewhere along the line decided that the end of the year, on December 25th was a good time to celebrate Christ’s entrance into human history. John Piper has a paraphrase of 1 Cor 15:16 on his website regarding Christmas. It is
“From now on we do not know anyone or anything according to the flesh. Even though we once knew Christmas according to the flesh, we know it thus no longer”.
What do you think about it? I like the thought that a holiday so clouded with all sorts of other nonsense can be redeemed. It can be made Christ-Centred. So, this Christmas, it is going to be my goal to maximise the emphasis on Jesus, and minimise the emphasis on other silly little quirks (I won’t ignore them or not partake in them by the way, as many of them are neutral and fun, and Jesus want’s me to have fun too).
– Belt out the good carols about Jesus, and think hard about why on earth your singing so passionately about Bell’s Jingling.
– Give gifts to people with the reminder of God’s greatest gift to you and to the world.
– Put up lights that tell the story of Christ coming into the world to save sinners.
This post is a call to all Christians to help redeem Christmas. My opinion is that regardless of how we got to the holiday we call Christmas (whether it came from pagan festivals or Roman traditions, etc), we should make it about Jesus as much as we are able. We should think of ways to get those crazy little quirks we have in Christmas and turn them into ways to draw attention to the fact that our Saviour has arrived. We should use the Christmas we are currently stuck with to celebrate what is being called less and less, the “real reason for the season”.
I know I will be celebrating and spreading the message of Jesus this year more so than my previous 26 Christmases. I am looking forward to it. Redeem Christmas with me! I can smell some more posts on Christmas coming soon.