Thursday, August 24, 2017

To Celebrate or Not

December 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Manna

lightstock_179176_medium_user_3844373There’s much debate whether Christians should celebrate Christmas given some of its pagan roots. Sadly, there have been some ugly exchanges among believers about Christmas. No matter Christmas’ history, one undeniable fact is the season’s ability to bring the best out in some people, Christian and non-Christian alike. Self-professed atheists who want nothing to do with religion or Christ still celebrate the holiday because of the warm and joyous memories they still carry with them from Christmases past. The Christmas season is great time to witness to those who might otherwise refuse to listen to us about Jesus and the Good News.

The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown to us. Although there is no biblical mandate to celebrate His coming into the world, there is no law or commandment against such celebration either. Born in a manger, that proved unfit for whom John the Baptist said, “He is the One coming after me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to untie” (John 1:27), Jesus’ birth deserves recognition, even celebration. For God graciously allowed Himself to be born so He could die to save us from our sins.

Does Jesus need us to decorate our homes and buy gifts all for the sake of His birth? No, but His entrance into a sin-sick world is always a reason to give God glory and to rejoice with family and friends, especially those who have been born again. Without His tangible human presence on earth, His death would not have been possible and we would be without any hope.

Instead of arguing with one another, we should extend grace to our brothers and sisters and pray that all members of the body of Christ including ourselves will “always be humble and gentle…and patient with each one another, making allowance for each other’s faults because of our love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (Ephesians4:2-3). How unfortunate is it that the season that honors the Prince of peace has the potential to cause anything but peace in some of us for whom Christ shed His blood?

As members of the same Body, we have a duty to correct one another when we are wrong or fall short of God’s standards. However, we are always to speak the truth in love and gentleness (Ephesians 4:15). We also should remember that our decision to celebrate Christmas or treat it as any other day does not save or condemn us; it is a matter of conviction (Romans 14:5).

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