What is Christmas?

Christmas is either the happiest and most joyful time of the year, or a happy and stressful time of the year for many. How we spend Christmas time can also be mixed, from the most social time of the year to the loneliest time. Some people go all out to celebrate the season, some people don’t. If you are like most people, you probably celebrate this holiday in one form, or another.

In those quiet moments when you pause and think about this season, what comes to your mind? What does Christmas mean to you? Is it to jingle, jangle up and down, chasing gifts and toys to give to your family, or friends, or those on whom you have compassion? Do you give gifts to show your love for others, or do you give gifts to make yourself feel good? Or perhaps to allay guilt because you don’t want to be Scrooge, or the Grinch, or because it is a family tradition passed down through the centuries? May be someone taught you that wise men gave gifts to a baby in a manger, so we should also give gifts to one another.

Perhaps you, like some, believe Christmas is for children only. Do you spend your time helping children stuff Jesus back into the crib (converted animal trough, or manger) – the MacCrib it would have to be – since He was already an adult by the time He departed from this earth? Or do you think Christ intrudes into the celebration of your holidays?

As long as you celebrate this season, why do you celebrate it the way you do? If you gave gifts to fill the whole world, would that make you feel like a better person?

What is Christmas? What would the holiday season be without Christ in the mass – Christ who gives meaning to life throughout the year?

Church of Nativity, Cave of Jesus' birth

Church of Nativity, Cave of Jesus’ birth, as it is today, believed to have been built in the location of the animal cave where Christ was born (used by permission).

Believers in Christ celebrate this day to commemorate the special birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God to a world in need of a savior. The birth of Christ fulfilled the prophecies, especially Isaiah’s, that a savior would be born to the world. It was through Christ’s death and resurrection that His mission on earth was ultimately accomplished and immortalized.

Though Christ was born around 4 B.C, Emperor Constantine first celebrated Christmas with Christians in 336 AD[1]. By focusing on Christ, Christians were able to abstain from pagan practices and hedonism, and remain true to their faith – a new life free from their old ways.

What would Christmas be, had Christ not lived and died and resurrected over two thousand years ago?[2] Or what would it be had Christ lived, but not resurrected from the dead? But He did live and He did die and He did rise from the dead.

If Christ asked you to explain why you celebrate this special Christian holiday, what would you tell Him?

The Grinch who stole Christmas ultimately discovered that the joy of Christmas was not in the presents he had stolen from Whoville.

Christ was God’s gift to the world that no one can take away from those who believe – the joy that lasts forever. The wise men believed the prophecies about His birth, they watched for prophetic signs and traveled a long distance to find Him and worship Him. They gave Him gifts to pay homage to Him and proclaim Him King, High Priest and Savior who was promised to the world. But most importantly, they brought themselves from afar to Him, the King. We who celebrate Christ realize that there is nothing we could give Him that would match the gift He gave of Himself. So we gave Him our hearts and our lives.

If you are not yet a follower of Christ, you can reap the full benefit of this special Holiday that will extend into eternity by trusting Him. Then will Christmas become the day you celebrate not just another tradition, or the commemoration of the birth of a baby in a manger, but the birth of the Son of God, who grew up, became an adult, and gave His life as Savior and Lord, before He returned to the Father in Heaven. You will join the multitudes who believe in Him and celebrate His birth as the birth of your Savior and Lord. It is for that purpose that He came, to give us abundant life and dwell with us, if we invite Him in, no matter what our circumstances.

What is Christmas without Christ? Would it have the same joy and goodwill towards all?

If you are not sure whether you are believer, please click this link: FAQ

Wishing you a Joyful, Christ-filled Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

References
1. Grizzly Adams Family Entertainment: Early Years of Jesus
2. Isaiah 9: 6 – 7; 11: 1ff; 40: 1ff; 42: 1 – 9
2. Matthew 1:1 – 2: 23;
3. Luke 1: 26 – 2: 40
4. John 1: 34; John 10: 10
5. Dr. Seuss: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Random House, New York, NY. November 24, 1957
6. www.whychristmas.com

Footnotes
1. The Roman calendar and the Julian calendar had different number of days in a year. Eastern Orthodox and Koptics celebrate Christmas on January 6th, or 7th (same as Julian Calendar’s December 25th).

2.The birth of Jesus:

i.The Birth of Jesus is placed by scholars around 6 B.C to 2 B.C and His death and resurrection about A.D 30 when He was about 33 years old. Flavius Josephus (A.D 37 – c 100),the oldest extra-biblical historian, mentions Christ and Christianity in his works written (c A.D 70 – A.D 100).
ii. Matthew, Chapter 2, mentions the wise men seeking Christ about 4 B.C (NKJV).

December 20, 2014

Posted in How do I find my way around the Bible?