December 25 is celebrated all over the world as Christmas day, in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the centuries, historians have plied us with various interesting theories negating this date as the true birth day of Jesus Christ. Two of these theories posit thus:
the Bible shows us that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth, and it has been historically proven that shepherds are usually not in the fields in December, and;
Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census and censuses are not taken in winter, when temperatures often drop below freezing and roads were in poor condition. It would have been impossible to take a census in such a period.
Based on the foregoing and more, Christmas has been viciously attacked and described as a ‘pagan celebration that true followers of Jesus should not engage in”.
So many questions. December 25 is not in fact the day Jesus was born? We are not sure. So why do we keep celebrating it? Hold on. So, when was Jesus REALLY born? It has been suggested by historians that September is a more accurate proposition. Is Christmas a tradition? Yes it is. Is it a pagan tradition? I don’t know.
I am a firm believer in the true value of a thing being found in its use. If you are like me, over the years, your attitude to the yuletide season went from child-like excitement to dispassion, and then to incertitude.
Where I am at now regarding Christmas or any other celebratory season is “Jesus-adoring”. I have learnt, and am learning that God is more interested in my inward motions than my outward expressions. More than the rightness of practices and principles, God wants a relationship with me. With you.
“So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER YOU DO, do it all for the glory of God.”- 1 Corinthians10:13 (NIV)
I know now that traditions and celebrations can never make up for a heart that is far from God. Whether Christmas is branded a pagan tradition or not, how I approach it can help me gauge whether or not my heart is near or far from God.
When man-made traditions help our hearts to draw near to God, they are a tool functioning rightly. But when our traditions distract our hearts from the true purpose of Christmas-adoring Christ as Lord, and service to humanity, then it is time to re-evaluate and repent.
“If we live, it is to honor the Lord. And if we die, it is to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, WE BELONG TO THE LORD.”-Romans 14:8 NLT.
For me, this Christmas is another opportunity to reflect on and express the love of Jesus, turn my heart in thanksgiving for the mercies of the previous months, consciously rejoice and be glad for the season, reach out to and bless people, and lighten someone’s burden. Christmas reminds me of a Savior who lay naked and cursed on a tree for me, and I am certain that in the measure of my life, no sacrifice can ever come that close. Jesus remains the Greatest Gift, and how could I turn down what is in fact another opportunity to celebrate him with the believing, and also share him with the unbelieving?
Whether glorified or maligned by popular opinion, December 25 of every year is “the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it”- Psalm 118:24.
Thank you Lam Lam for sharing your view.😆