Christmas and Christians
Christmas and Christians
Christmas is an incredible time of the year for a number of different reasons. Family, food, presents, cheezy Hallmark movies, presents, friends, and friends with presents. For me, Christmas is not a day but it's more like a season. Realistically you have summer, fall, Christmas, and then winter.
Unfortunately, "Christianity and Christmas" is a combination that often makes people feel a bit uncomfortable. The religious tension is enough to make people stay far away from the subject in totality. My goal isn't to extinguish the fiery division in the manner of a short article, but I'd love to offer some Biblical references for the occasion.
First, we need to understand the holiday. Maybe it has not always been the case that Christmas celebrated the birth of Christ, but that's what a lot of people view it as today. In the grand scheme of reality, it doesn't matter which day He was born on (otherwise it would have been revealed in scripture). What matters is that He was born. Those who hold the view of Christmas being the day of Christ's birth don't have the liberty to bind that on anyone else, but it also not an act worthy of condemnation (Romans 14:1-6).
Second, calibrate your view of those who enter into the assembly on Christmas weekend. The church is called the "body of Christ" for a reason (1 Corinthians 12:13ff; Ephesians 4:12; Romans 12:5). I cannot find a single instance in Scripture where Jesus rejected people on the sole basis of it being the wrong day. There was no wrong day to come to Christ. However, there will be a day when it is too late to come to Christ (Matthew 25:31f). People may feel more inclined to attend worship on Christmas Sunday, but it's not our job to condemn them. Rather than being the cold-shoulder of the body, let's be the open arms in embracing them.
Third, just appreciate the season. This is a time of the year where there is an amplified focus on Christ. Are you really going to be the one to stand up and condemn people for doing so? As Christians, it is hard to live in a culture that is very much self-based. Even if it's only for a couple months, I'll take whatever I can get for a higher interest level in Christ. Talk of religion is seldom in the everyday world; except for this time of the season. Seize that opportunity. Questions like "where are you going to worship for Sunday" is more accepted now than any other time of the year. That little spark might just ignite the fire for someone's conviction and lead to great things.
I guess my overall objective for this article is to encourage people to curb the legalistic pessimism for a moment, and observe the incredible opportunities that present themselves. Also, don't be afraid to sit down and really take time to consider the true significance that came from the birth of Christ (remember, it doesn't matter what day you do this). There's a reason why Mary was moved to a song of praise (Luke 1:46-56). Christmas is a great time of the year for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons I believe it to be, is because it's likely the annual climax of people's interest in Christ. The presents are cool too (and the LIGHTS). --Adapted