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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas - Just Tradition & Covetousness, Or A God Glorifying Opportunity?

A friend of mine wrote a blog post which talked about how coveting is a big part of what people do at Christmastime, and it mentioned how Christmas is a tradition of the world.

I'm sure it was true when I was a child that I had plenty of greed when it came to gifts...wanting more sometimes, but I want to give another perspective before people chuck celebrating out the window.

No, Christians don't celebrate "mass." Lots of words could be changed though, if we analyzed them enough.

Santa - I was not deceived into believing in a mythical Santa as a child, and the gifts we gave each other were known to be from each other.
As an adult, sometimes we have fun earlier in December putting out wooden shoes to give each other small things like slipper socks and candy.
It's not about Christmas though.  There was a historical guy who was kind-hearted, but honestly it's just something fun a family member wanted to do related to ancestral heritage.

Trees, decorations, and nativity scenes - There may have been both Christian and non-Christian origins for different decorations. Some may have had Christian origins while others did not. We may have gone without a tree for a time, but we have a fake one now.
Actually, am probably mostly an iconoclastic type of person (a word I derived from the historical Theology course online) when it comes to images of Christ.
I do not always put out the fake baby Jesus, or I cover it.
I put the wise men ( I think one of our sets has 4 - though we don't know exactly how many there were) to the side, because I know they came later.
They did see His star in the East though.  That's how they knew when He was born.

Gifts - Our family at some point in our lives decided to limit the price of gifts for each other, so that the price is maybe $10 per person.
In our house, we open gifts Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve day) which leaves Christmas day entirely to Jesus' Birthday.
Gifts can be to symbolize giving to each other as God has blessed us, or just a bit of celebrating like eating good food.
Whatever symbolism it has for you, there is nothing inherently wrong with giving to others.
When I was young and couldn't afford a lot of gifts, sometimes a gift could be a piece of paper or something that offered washing the car (which I might get money for otherwise), or people might even offer back rubs or something. 
We also choose a Christian project to give to before Christmas.
It's about giving to the Lord.  If we are going to choose to celebrate a day to remember His birth, then we should give to Him.
When we were young, I believe we had a birthday cake for Jesus. Okay, it might seem silly, but it is something a child relates to.

I enjoy thinking about when Jesus was born and listening to Christmas songs, and though celebrating Christ's birth is not a hill to die on or to be considered equal to Biblical mandates, it can truly be a joyous freedom as found in Romans 14 (celebrating a day for the Lord).

Hearing the story of Jesus birth (born of a virgin - who was NOT sinless and called God her Savior), and then either listening to or singing Christmas carols can be fun. 
Jesus wasn't simply another man. He was 100% God and 100% man. Many false religions deny this truth. We can't even fathom the truth of who He is enough I think.
That He lived a perfect life and suffered and died being punished for the sins of undeserving rebellious sinners --- and that He rose again to justify those predestined to be adopted as children of God.  This is where His birth led to.
This was the plan.

It's good to examine things, and it's a matter of one's own conscience and convictions.
So, if your tradition causes you to sin, then I would recommend changing it.
Otherwise, I don't need to agonize.  I can pick and choose temporal traditions that I don't find sinful, but I don't expect the world to celebrate Christ for who He is.
We don't need to demand unbelievers say Merry Christmas.

It's a great time of year for evangelism.
If some people who are unbelievers want to talk about Christmas and celebrate the Christ they don't believe in, then we can find ways to let them know who Jesus is.  You can even send cards to people in the phone book with Gospel tracts or messages (if you are like me and don't get out a lot).

Write a blog post, or do a video.
Able-bodied people can use the shopping frenzy to hand out Gospel tracts.


If you are not a Christian, please watch this: 

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