His Birthday

     A humanist website says this about Christmas: “Christmas is a multicultural festival with a long pagan history, and can be celebrated by anyone”. You’ll probably hear stuff like that from unbelievers. They will tell you that “the church” just decided to appropriate a then-current pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice or the Roman celebration of the sun god, Jupiter. Please understand that whether or not Christians decided to have a celebration at a time when heathen celebrations occurred is irrelevant. That doesn’t mean it has a pagan history.
      The first recorded date of celebrating Christmas on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December. It was observed to celebrate the birth of Christ; nothing more and certainty nothing less. There were no Christmas trees, partridges in pear trees, sleigh rides or exchanging of gifts. It was a religious mass (celebration) of the birth or Christ. Santa Claus was nowhere in the picture.
     Since that time well-meaning folks have, however misguided, sought to enhance that celebration with certain symbols and events meant to take the celebration to new heights. In doing so the door was opened for the commercialization of Christmas and from there the religious celebration morphed into a frenzied holiday that contains elements that even pagans can embrace. In fact, I believe that the statement from the humanist website should be corrected to say “Christmas is a Christian celebration, many aspects of which several ideologies have appropriated for their own celebrations”.
     Think about this: All of the characteristics that people say are what Christmas is all about…love, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, family…are characteristics that God commands us to have and empowers us, as Christians, to have to a degree that the “world” can never achieve. But, because of what began with the birth of Christ, people can now love their enemies, do good to those that abuse them, and forgive those that wrong them. They can love their neighbors as they love themselves. They can sacrifice for the good of others. All…to a measure the world cannot copy.
     So when people try to secularize Christmas, remind them that it is His day. And because of what happened on that day love, joy, and happiness in their purest forms are available to all.
Say good things about your church and about your Savior. It’s His birthday we are celebrating.
Bro. Tony