Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Something To Celebrate

Should Christians celebrate Christmas or not?

Some groups say, "NO!" because of ancient syncretism between Christianity and Paganism in the Christmas celebrations.

The modern pagan's certainly agree.  One recent morning, Lola and I sat in our local McDonalds and realized that all the Christmassy sounding songs were devoid of any mention of Christ. The songs are all about Santa Claus, Rudolph, White Christmases and so on - but no Christ.

Where possible, they scrub Christ right out of Christmas and end up with "Happy Holidays" without any explanation of why these days might be considered happy or holy. Christmas has continued its slide into crass commercialism - all about buying more, newer, bigger stuff. Christmas Holiday Trees can be decorated, of course, and presents can be wrapped. There is plenty of nostalgia for Christmases "long long ago" - as long as you don't mention Christ. The legal eagles of the "Freedom From Religion" group are ready to swoop down wherever they think they can force people to remove Manger Scenes.

So, back to my original question. Should Christians celebrate Christmas or not?

Well, we certainly should not celebrate Christmas the way our pagan culture does. If Christmas is not about Christ, then what is it about? Seems that materialism, greed and excess are all that is left. If that is where our hearts are, then even putting up a manger scene will not redeem it.

We should celebrate Christmas if Christmas is about Christ. Christ should be at the center of a Christian's Christmas. We should spend the season reflecting on the biblical accounts - prophecies promising Christ would come, announcements to Joseph, Mary and Zechariah about his coming, the songs of praise from Mary and Zechariah and Simeon, the birth of Jesus in the stable, the angelic announcement to the Shepherds and their response, the testimony of the magi who traveled from Arabia to meet the new King.

"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners..."  That is what Christmas should be about for Christians and we should focus on that. When we do focus on that, how can we help but celebrate?
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,Luke 1:46–47