Christmas Something Special,
I have to think about CHRISTmas because it is Christmas and everyone around is thinking about it. So over the 64 Christmas’s I have lived to see, I now face my sixty-fifth. I have had many thoughts each time around. I could share all of these but it would take much time to gather the many thoughts I have collected. I can explain a lot through a quick personal history that might be similar to yours. I have grown from fear of Santa Claus (baby); to believing he will bring gifts (child); to wanting to still believe as a (teen with younger siblings); to believing the nativity (hope for something to believe); to celebrating Christ (born again). Now this understanding this is one thing I have gathered to bring to share; there is a lot to contemplate about the season.
Looking at my 65th season I now believe Christmas should be celebrated; it did take this long for me to come to this conclusion. If you are Christian you certainly will decide something about this holiday. Some say it is wrong; some have other ideas so the question becomes how is it Christian and why? Should we celebrate this season? If we celebrate for the right reasons will that be okay? What if we choose to not celebrate? How, What, When, Why… if for the right reasons whatever we do is that permissible?
Our righteousness comes from our conviction before Christ and what we decide about Christmas does not change what Jesus sees in our heart. We cannot know all things so the understanding is from the Lord not us.
I don’t mean to bring controversy about this but offer food for thought; food is always good for the body, so thought concerning the Lord is good for the soul.
Let us ask the Lord in His word and see if we can understand with clarity what He would have us do.
Col 2:16 Therefore, let no one judge you because of what you eat or drink or about the observance of annual holy days, New Moon Festivals, or weekly worship days. Here it seems to give permission to participate most any festivity for the right reason, and I suggest you don’t put a bushel over why you celebrate for only do we celebrate things of the Kingdom…
Col 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. In this world our celebrations don’t compare to what is going to be taking place when Jesus returns
Col 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism (a se-tə-ˌsi-zəm) [voluntary humility kjv] and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body is nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments and grows with a growth that is from God. (unity)
Consider the story of the Lord coming into the world as a baby has been told many times, it is heard more often at the Christmas season. It is not always told in the way it is written so unknowingly we still believe some things that are not true about this story. An example of this is the story of the Three Wise-men; First question were there three? When did they arrive at the scene? There is a lot hidden in the story of the Kings from the East and rarely ever spoken. The Magi are a powerful witness of the Christ. These missionaries were planted in the east during Daniel’s time in Babylon. Many still picture them at the nativity but read and find they arrived at the house where Joseph, Mary and Jesus were living, possibly still in Bethlehem. So there was enough time that passed to set up a household; it could have been when Jesus was about two. Christmas is a good time to check the stories we have heard and told. What if we what we believe is not accurate? It is not too late to learn. If the true story we tell is not told accurately how then is our story any better than Santa Claus?
These days we know about the pagan winter solstice and other pagan holidays that were popular prior to Constantine who was a Roman Emperor. During this era the church began to emphasize Christian messages into these pagan events and holy days.
Now we live in the age of Laodicea it seems no one is real sure what sin is. The Christians have become soft so they barely know the difference of good and evil, yet there are still some true believers who honor Christ. These are true brethren who are among us. There are some who observe Christmas some do not. Many believers and the worldly love the festive season and they are correct to do so. While there others think it is pagan and do not wish to participate, they are also correct in doing so. Many expect to get something from Santa Claus, tell stories and enjoy their families they too are correct; then there those who claim any mention of Christmas is offensive to them; they are wrong to stop others or claim offense; for some Christmas is just traditions practiced annually, some still need to search their hearts. Celebration of Christmas is like many things it is determined by our heart; you know rather the joy of the Lord is truly in you and that it is shared.
From the Christian perspective to abstain from worldly activities is foolish if it is not your heart’s desire to do so, or it might be out of religious piousness. Let no man judge you but remember even when eating a sandwich we remember the Lord who provides it for us; so what so ever ye do do it as unto the Lord. This is to say there is no harm in traditional Christmas celebrations.
As this story began with my mentioning that I took a long look going into this season. We do need to be less about the world and its traditions and more about the Lord and the Kingdom at hand. We must be observant, careful we do not become like those who attempt to disqualify us. Those who attempt to disqualify us are trying to force a conditions they don’t understand themselves. Col 2:18 ESV Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism (a se-tə-ˌsi-zəm)(vain humility) and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head…
In conclusion we can be of the same body because our worth is not in our celebrations but our by faith and the faith is what knits together the body: Col 2:19…from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. Remember the body is the church that sings together and encourages one another to righteousness and feeds the widows and fatherless.
Christmas is not the birth-date of Christ; it is a reminder of our foundation of our faith knowing our redeemer; more like our re-birthday for He has come into the world for this purpose that the world might be saved… John 3:17
To be saved you must be born again. John 3:3
Remember that He has come and will return for a harvest of those who will receive His gift.
Kevin Anderson, MmU
Asceticism; Ascetic (a se-tə-ˌsi-zəm) definition;”Severe” and “austere,” for example, are two words that share with “ascetic” the basic meaning “given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint.” “Ascetic” implies abstention from pleasure, comfort, or self-indulgence as a spiritual discipline, whereas “severe” implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness (as in “severe military discipline”). “Austere” stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial This seems to be frowned on in this verse implying that works are not the basis of our faith thus we honor the Lord in our heart of faith, don’t let this type of person disqualify you….