Spend five minutes surfing the Internet for information about Christmas and you’ll find websites calling for an end to its celebration. Some are posted by atheists. But others, surprisingly, are posted by Christians — Christians who believe that Christmas observance is sinful.
References to: Christmas
Every Christmas season, Christians give thanks to our heavenly Father for his love and grace, showered upon us through the birth of Jesus. The traditional carols we sing memorialize the meaning of Jesus’ birth — “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” “The First Noel,” “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Away in a Manger,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” — and many others.
“Silent Night” is one of my favorite carols because it speaks so directly to the inspiring scriptural story. Here are some of the words:
Shortly after Jesus was born, wise men brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were quite valuable—presents that were traditionally offered to a king. Perhaps they came in handy, because Joseph and Mary, with their infant son, were shortly to flee from Herod and spend several years in Egypt as refugees.
Parents or guardians are usually the most important influences in children’s spiritual development. This presents both a responsibility and an opportunity. Concerning the responsibility, parents have the God-given assignment to teach their children about God and his love (Deuteronomy 4:10; 6:7). Concerning the opportunity, young children tend to see their parents as “god-like” in authority and credibility.
The evergreen tree symbolizes the faithfulness of God,
remaining forever the same,
even during the darkness and cold of winter.
The lights or candles on the tree symbolize our Savior Jesus Christ,
whose life was the Light of all people,
the Light that shines in the darkness
and which enlightens everyone.
Some people put red bows on the tree,
symbolizing the shed blood of our Savior,
by which our sins are forgiven.
Ornaments symbolize fruit,
which in turn symbolizes the gracious gifts and provision
of God for his people.
"In him was life, and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4).
Brilliant displays of light and color are part of the Advent season. For some people, such displays may be little more than another advertising gimmick of modern retailers. But for believers, they can be another reminder of the glory of the One and Only Son of God, the light of the world, who brings the peace and rest for which the whole world aches and pines.
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In my younger days, I believed that celebrating Christmas was a sin. I wanted to let the Bible guide me in everything I did, and since I couldn’t find any command in the Bible to keep Christmas, I concluded that keeping it must be a sin.
Of course, it wasn’t very good logic, and it kept me from enjoying one of the most meaningful and joyous celebrations of the year.
I was born in a Navy hospital in Pensacola, Florida. No one knew I was breach until the wrong end of me presented itself to the doctor. Fortunately I didn’t take too long coming out and there were no complications. I did earn the affectionate nickname of “Froglegs” for the first few days of my life.
Everyone has a birth story. Children delight in hearing about their births, and mothers love telling the details of how their babies came into the world. A birth is a miracle and often brings tears to the eyes of those who witness it.
The wise men who came from the East to worship the infant Jesus were the scientists of their day. Known as Magi, they studied the heavens and the earth, seeking to understand the natural world, and make sense of the supernatural.
When they observed a mysterious sign in the sky, they knew it was significant. Exactly what they saw is not known. Was it a comet? A conjunction of planets? A unique special creation? Whatever it was, it guided these Magi to Jerusalem, and eventually to a house in Bethlehem where the infant Jesus was staying. There they worshipped him and gave him gifts.
“Joy to the world!” Christians look forward to a joyous Christmas season each year. Yet, surprisingly, for the first 300 years of the church’s life there was no Christmas celebration of Jesus’ birth. Possible reasons include: