Would it surprise you if 1,000 (or more) blog posts or articles hit the Web recently asking this question in order to offer an answer? Christmas has been celebrated in one form or another for up to 2000 years depending on your perspective. The first recorded notice of Christ’s birth being celebrated on December 25 occurred in 336AD.
Let’s not quibble about unimportant side issues of dates and distinctions and who celebrated what when. Until relatively recently no one in the western world would have asked such a silly question, “What is Christmas?” How is it possible that the question becomes more frequent as the years tick by? Could it be that Christmas is no longer expressed as shared loved and gratitude for the Savior’s entrance into the world as Immanuel?
God or Not God – the only choice to be made
There are only two kinds of people in the world. Yep, just two. Folks who know God and accept His Word as inerrant and infallible comprise one group; those who do not share that belief fill out the other. Christmas belongs only to the people who worship Jesus Christ as Savior. That’s it. Simple. Obvious. Seemingly without the need for discussion or debate.
“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” – John 14:30
The birth of Jesus made it possible for sinful man to be changed from enemy to family. Those who accept His offer are free to live in eternal relationship with God. Those who do not accept the terms of relationship remain enemies and march to the battle tune of the ruler of our world today, Satan.
Christians, Quit Confusing your Children
Do your kids write a letter of gratitude to their Savior at Christmas or a note to Santa containing an endless list of worldly garbage destined for the land fill? If your kids want something special or beyond the budget, why not show them how to earn it? Gifts and presents are not the same.**
What, if anything, do the things on this list have to do with Christmas:
- Decorated tree of pine, fir, plastic, or aluminum?
- Lighting up homes in annual contest for the most extravagant
- Spoiled kids who receive lots of presents but precious few gifts
- Toy drives for bicycles and electronics
- Parades filled with floats sponsored by businesses and organizations, bands, and cartoon characters
- Political battles over naming rights to decorations
- Buying gifts before paying rent, utilities, and other obligations
- The organized excess of food commonly referred to as gluttony
- “Jingle Bell Rock”
If you think any of the above have a connection with Christmas, please share with us how you would explain it to your children. Really.
The History of Christmas in the United States
Early Christians were appalled at the trapping of “Christmas” celebrations and the Puritans outlawed it altogether. In the mid-1800’s the northern section of the nation saw it as sinful but the south embraced it. The first three states to create a legal holiday on December 25th were Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Christmas did not become a federal holiday until June 26, 1870, after the Civil War.
Most familiar traditions of Christmas were born in the imaginations of secular writers or savvy marketing professionals. All that screams “Christmas” to most people today are the invented celebrations of fictional characters and advertising campaigns that transformed the gift of peace between sinful man and a Holy God into an event that could easily be called Mardi Gras of the Winter. In truth we’ve already arrived. Christmas is a carnival of excess, sin, gluttony, false expectation and false emotion.
Connecting Christmas to the End Time
How you celebrate Christmas is evidence of how ready you are for the return of the King of Kings. Am I suggesting you quit enjoying the feast of mid winter? Not at all. What I am trying to do is make it crystal clear that Christmas has nothing to do with a holiday. The lies of the Enemy are so pretty they spread like a fire blown by gale force winds across bone dry grasslands.
Society and progressive cultures today embrace the celebrations and excesses endorsed by the ruler of this world.
Christmas: God with Us.
God does not care if a fir tree is called a winter tree or a Christmas tree. If He does I expect He might prefer the former. Quit attaching the Name of the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, to silly trappings born of human imagination and greed.
Choose Your Fights Wisely
Instead of fighting tooth, nail, and checkbook for the right to say “Merry Christmas” – fight with everything you have to proclaim Christ as Lord, born of a virgin, crucified for our sins, and Who rose again to fulfill God’s promise to His flock.
What is Christmas? The gift of peace between God and His people. Everything else is the result of joining the party endorsed by the ruler of this world. Which do you celebrate?
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