“in season and out of season, regardless of time or season; at all times…”
For years the winter, particularly the holiday season, has been slightly challenging for our family – especially me. We buried a baby on Dec. 10, 1990, and most of the losses we have endured began in fall and ended in late winter. Also fter we became Christians 27 years ago, we were strongly encouraged that we should have nothing to do with Christmas due to its “pagan” origins. It was absent from our lives for at least 7 years and we slowly reintroduced customs into our family over time as we grew in the knowledge and grace of the One who loves us.
Third, no where does the bible ever state we are to honor or recognize His birth, just his death and resurection. As a matter of fact, we have limited knowledge of his life before adulthood – his birth and age 12 the only times his life is mentioned. Could there be a reason for that? God knowing all those who would attend church on Christmas when the helpless poor baby lie in a manger, or at Easter when He hangs dead on the cross? We are to see Him as Risen Lord and Savior, Conquering King.
Fourth, it seems to me where Christmas is concerned, doesn’t it seem to have the ring of I Corinthians chapter 8? Eat meat offered to idols, don’t eat meat…what does your conscience tell you about Christmas? As one brother stated to me last night, “I think each family should decide how to best to worship Christ for them.”
I state these things because every year I witness Christians stating in annoyance the “Merry Christmas” argument, offended when others are politically correct and say “Happy Holidays.” I hear it in voice and see it in the written word from a place of annoyance and anger – even arrogance at times. Working in the “inter-faith” world, and having been raised saying, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” it just doesn’t seem of importance to me. I “become all things to all men that I may proclaim Christ.” (I Cor. 9:22) In our past non-Christmas circle that same annoyance was expressed over those who were wished a, “Merry Christmas” feeling the need to correct the well wisher that they did “not celebrate Christ – Mass” and informing them of its pagan origins. Looking back I cringe at the offense that was caused in the name of defending Jesus. Now, I see the same things going on from the “Christmas” camp if they hear the term “holiday” instead of Christmas. Isn’t Jesus able to defend Himself?
It rings like the political division in the church, those who imply Jesus would be a Republican if He were here today, others thinking He is a Democrat; and yet the Jews were waiting for a King to arise and save them in a great political move and conquering army and missed that He came as a servant. He came to change mens’ hearts. He was the very opposite of political and rendered unto Caesar what was due him.
I sit writing before the most beautiful and largest Christmas tree we have ever had and reminisce about days gone by. That is what the tree means to me – family time, laughter, games, food and traditions. Lights are strung, the Nativity is set up, the Advent Wreath candles burning. All the traditions we have re-introduced as part of our family heritage in Jesus.
Jesus came for the sick, the lost, the hurting and spent His time hanging out with “sinners.” He is not just the God of Christmas, but the God of all. He is the “reason” we are. By Him all things were, are, and are to be. (Heb) So if you are one of the ones who is offended over a greeting of “Happy Holidays,” I would encourage you to remember who we are, and that the birth of Jesus should bring, “tidings of comfort and joy” as we have hearts of “good will towards ALL men.
In Christs Everlasting Love,