Wednesday, March 21, 2018

To Celebrate…or Not

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Christmas means many different things to many different people. It’s a emotional issue over whether or not to celebrate it and how to go about it, if one does.

Can I just say there are deeper issues at stake? Like:
The attitude of ones heart… do you judge someone else on the basis of how they approach Christmas? (Really?)
The gratitude of ones heart… are you truly thankful for our Lord and Savior’s incarnation, no matter when it happened? (Hallelujah!)
And how ’bout the platitude of ones heart… could you care less and wish it would just go away? (Bah, Humbug?)

Too many times we wrestle with trivial matters, making them into fundamental religious issues to argue over. Was Christ born in December? Most scholars would say no, simply basing it on practicality. Cesar would hardly decree an edict of this magnitude throughout his entire empire during the cold month of December. Plus, you can calculate the month of his birth by studying the books of Matthew and Luke, and find He more likely was born during the Fall Festivals, with His conception happening during the Feast of Hanukkah or Festival of Lights.

It is well known the Roman Catholic Church instituted the observance of Christmas several hundred years later to entice pagans away from their heathen practices of celebrating the re-birth of the sun (and sun god, Saturnalia) during the winter solstice. But does that mean you can’t commemorate Christ’s birth and make it meaningful?

Why not start your own family traditions to honor Jesus during this time? You don’t have to have a tree, and you don’t have to give it up either… just don’t “worship” it. You don’t have to propagate the lie about Santa Claus, but you could relate the story of the real St. Nicholas and instill a love for truth in your children. You can give gifts to each other without buying into the excessive pandemonium and greed-driven mentality of the world. You can feast without giving yourself over to gluttony and drunkenness. You can be charitable by reaching out to the poor and seeing to their needs at homeless shelters, or by giving to organizations you know to be trustworthy. This can be a time to come together as a family and reinforce your love for one another as you honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who will reign forever and ever.

I want to leave you with some things to ponder as this season swoops down upon us. And perhaps, just maybe, what, how, or if you celebrate Christmas, won’t be so difficult a decision after all, especially if you remember that whatever you do, you should do it as unto the Lord. I Corinthians 10:31

Love and Compassion was shown by God the Father in giving up His only Son
Obedience was shown by Jesus/Yeshua when He willingly left heaven to become a man and die on the cross for our sins
Goodwill/Kindness Toward Others was shown by the Angelic Host in proclaiming the Messiah’s birth to mankind
Graciousness was shown by Mary in believing Gabriel and submitting to God’s will
Forgiveness was shown by Joseph in taking Mary to wife when she was with child
Humility was shown by the shepherds when they worshipped a baby, swaddled and lying in an animal feed trough
Generosity was shown by the Wise Men when they brought the finest and richest of gifts to Jesus (later as a young child, not on the night of the Nativity ūüôā

Whatever you decide, may these traits decorate your hearts both now and all through the coming year.

With best wishes for peace and for a blessed season filled with joy,

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