Should Christians celebrate Christmas? This seems rather obvious doesn’t it? Of course, Christians should celebrate Christmas! It’s the celebration of the birth of Christ. What could be more Christian than that?
If you’re like me however, each year at this time you start seeing meme’s popping up in your social media feeds. Meme’s about how Christmas is actually a pagan holiday that the early Christians stole from other older traditions. Or the fact that Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25th. What are we to make of this?
These posts always present themselves as being rather authoritative. But a closer look at some of the claims show that they don’t in fact hold much water. I’ve done a complete series on the 5 most common myths surrounding Christmas.
These assertions have led many Christians into thinking that they should boycott celebrating Christmas. We are told in both the Old and the New Testaments to avoid worshiping other gods (Exod. 20:3, Exod. 34:13, Deut. 5:7, 2 Cor. 11:4, 1 Cor 8:7 to name a few). And I think it is wise to think carefully about how and what we do in celebrating Christmas.
While many of the most common myths about Christmas coming from pagan religions are false, I do think there is some evidence that certain things like Christmas trees might have stemmed from earlier traditions. Does this bother me? Not in the slightest!
Even if every false meme about Christmas were true, and the holiday was a complete rip off of earlier traditions, it wouldn’t shake my enjoyment in the slightest. Because when I decorate my Christmas tree, I’m not celebrating the god Saturn. I’m celebrating the Lord Jesus. When I light a yule log in my fireplace, I’m not celebrating an ancient Norse god, I’m reflecting on The Light of the world.
This is what we need to keep in mind as Christians at this time of year. We are celebrating the birth of our Savior. And while we do want to avoid the excesses of the season, we can also enjoy the traditions we have long come to associate with the holiday. They key thing is to keep our focus on Jesus. Enjoy the celebration of His birth, and reflect on the good news that accompanies it!
O God our loving Father, help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. May Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, amen.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
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