Cheryl is a licensed, ordained minister and has a BA in Psychology and Church ministry.
The Winter Solstice is on December 21, the shortest day of the year. In decades past Christians did not like the way the Pagans celebrated on this date. People then looked to the seasons for guidance as they did not have calendars. December 21 represented the shift where the days became longer which was good news for hunters. Those living at this time began worshipping the Sun because they believed that it had power over darkness, night, and winter. The Solstice was celebrated with riotous drinking and sex orgies. Some people decorated trees with candles in honor of the sun (god), Christians at this time decided to create a celebration to focus on the birth of Christ and borrowed some of the Solstice traditions. Mistletoe, Holly wreaths on doors as well as decorating trees were all a part of the Pagan observance. Even so the purpose of Christmas- Christ-mas, (more Christ in Spanish) or to some Christ's; mass. was to celebrate the birth of the Savior.
Mixing the Holy with the profane
On the night Christ was born, the Savior who created the world, stepped into the world wrapped in human flesh. This was a Holy Night a Devine night like no other. This event that is told in Luke chapter 2 changed the world. It should be discussed with awe and reverence, yet continually is profaned. Movies are about hooking up on Christmas, getting drunk, and excess of worldly goods. Those who do not even believe in Him have turned the celebration of His birth into a way to make money. Consider the hundreds of thousands of tales, books, television shows, and movies about Santa, elves, reindeer, and imaginary situations that dominate the holiday that bears His Name and should be about His birth. It;s true that the Bible does no tell us to observe His birth, but neither does scripture say to go to a building once a week and yet there are people who will call you a heathen if you say you do not "go to church" on Sunday.
He alone is worthy
In I Corinthians chapter 8 the Apostle Paul said that food that was dedicated to an idol could be eaten because an idol is nothing. In Romans 14:5 Paul spoke of people honoring one day over another. Keeping these scriptures in mind, if some believers desire to ignore December 25 then they have the right. If others want to reflect upon His birth a bit more during this season and decorate their homes or give gifts in love, that's OK too. The bottom line for believers in Christ is to keep in mind that He alone is worthy to be praised. A Christmas tree is nothing but a seasonal decoration but there was a time when trees were brought in the home and worshipped. This is why Jeremiah 10:1-5 discusses Pagans cutting down trees and nailing them in their homes. Most Christians have been taught that the green tree represents everlasting life from Christ's crucifixion and that the lights represent His being the light of the world. The star or angel on top reminds us of the star that led the wise men and the shepherds who heard the angels proclaim His birth. he alone is worthy of our praise, worship, and adoration, If you are celebrating Him you cannot go wrong. Paul told us to do all things as unto the Lord in Colossians 3:23.
The purpose of Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus and take the focus away from the Pagan rituals surrounding the mid-winter observance. Unfortunately, Christmas has taken on a life of its own over the years and there is not much that can be done about it now. This is why each believer must purpose in his or her own heart to be led by His Spirit and not to judge other believers regarding holiday celebrations. Those who are blood-bought have an obligation to let their lights so shine before men. We cannot stop anyone from observing the December 25 holiday and neither can we force other believers to join in with proclaiming His birth in December. but His children should always keep in mind that the night He was born was special. Holy, and Divine. We each must answer to Him for ourselves. Having said that, Christmas is an opportunity for the saints to share the good news of the gospel, from the manger to the cross, to His ascension and soon return. Our ultimate purpose is to lead the lost to His saving grace and the Christmas story, if we who know better, keep it Holy can do just that.
The early Christian Christmas hymns are the gospel in song. They tell of the immaculate conception, God being reconciled with men, and His Word appearing in flesh. These songs have the power to transform. As I always say, "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater." The gospel must be proclaimed to all the world as we are commanded in Matthew 28 and Mark 16. Christmas is within the world and can be used in the month of December to let someone know that the Savior IS, was, and evermore shall be. When we keep His Name Holy, someone might just pay attention and joy will come to the world to all who accept his free gift of eternal life. The world is going to do whatever it chooses regarding the month of December but we who are His must live our lives every day of every month to tell the glad tidings of good joy.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 20, 2020:
This is a very good article and I really like your suggestions in your last paragraph. We should celebrate the birth of Jesus in right way.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 20, 2020:
I like your message about not judging others. "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater." That is good advice. Many dedicated Christians decorate their homes with wreaths, Christmas trees, lights, etc. It is a festive time of year for many people of all faiths, so the Happy Holidays greeting also fits in addition to Merry Christmas.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 20, 2020:
Nice one. Providing much comforts.