Thoughts on Christmas...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose... sleigh bells ringing... twinkling lights... winter wonderland... pine bows and holly... red, gold, green velvet bows... it's the Christmas "spirit!"

But one question comes to mind ... "If we took away all of those sensual things, and celebrated Christ's birth with a special day of worship and praise in the house of the Lord and collected a special offering for His treasury, would everyone still be as zealous to celebrate the birth of Christ?"

In recent years many people have tried to get back to what they think is the true, or deeper, meaning of Christmas. All through the year they pursue their own goals, strive for their own desires and live as they please. Then when Christmas times comes they (like the children) try to behave and be good! All of a sudden they love everyone and try to be the "Good Samaritan."

THE SEASON:
So many love the atmosphere -  the "season". Does it really have anything to do with Christ? If we will be honest, isn't it really the season we love! A time for family, for socializing. But very few people spend much time gathered together talking about the Lord and His purpose in coming here to suffer and die in our place. You may say, We have been made free therefore we can enjoy ourselves. But, He died that we may be free from sin and live henceforth for and unto Him. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, ...and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor 6:19, 20). Can we say that we live our daily life - in all that we do - unto Him? "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

TRUE WORSHIP:
Many have "put Christ back" in their Christmas. You hear more people mention His name than in years past. But just because His name is thrown in here and there; or they say "Happy Birthday Jesus"; and ask the blessing at the meals, does not make it all honorable unto Him. "Wherefore the Lord said, ...this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men" (Isa. 29:13).

If we truly wanted to celebrate Christ's birthday and worship Him in a way that would honor Him. We would need to do it according to the way He has told us is pleasing unto Him, not in a way that is only pleasing to our senses.

GIFTS
People say they give gifts because Christ gave us the greatest gift (or something to that effect). How does giving each other gifts do anything for Christ? To be honest, we lavish gifts upon each other, to excess, to fulfill our own pleasure! Many times these gifts can hardly be said to be honorable to Christ. The truth is, many give even less to the church at this time because they need the money for gifts. Or they give a couple of hundred to the church and then spend a couple of thousand on the family.

SANTA CLAUS
Santa is a pure abomination unto God. He may be a wonderful, jolly old fellow to the kids and a lot of fun for the grown-ups to play along with. But in the eyes of God he is an idol. How can you justify Santa being a part of the celebration of Christ's birth? Many who profess to know Christ have stopped this dishonoring practice. To most children Christmas IS "Santa" and "presents"! But have you ever stopped to realize that, maybe subconsciously, you are exalting him to have the same attributes as God. And, subconsciously, in the eyes of your children he is almost equal to God? You tell them that he sees and knows all and is displeased when they are bad. That he can travel around the world and be everywhere at lightning speed. That he has power to give them anything they want. That he is the very essence of love, good will and unity among all people. I have been so shocked the last couple of years to overhear parents telling their children to "pray to santa"! Talk about provoking God to anger!

To me, being "merry" does not describe the joy that was manifest when Christ was born. There is a difference in being merry and rejoicing and having joy. We rejoice in the salvation He came to bring us! But it is in humility because He came to live a life of suffering, sorrows and cruel death because of our sin.




 

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