Sunday, December 4, 2011
YES, I CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS!
Along with the gift buying, baking and tree trimming, another annual event is the "I don't celebrate Christmas because it's a pagan holiday." sermon. I wouldn't mind listening to it, if the preacher was truly telling me these things because he/she fears for my soul and on occasion I have heard some very sincere pleas, but on the contrary, usually those people are using their argument to show us how better of a Christian they are compared to us. Sort of like measuring us up with a spiritual yardstick and pridefully (what does the Bible say about pride?)showing us that they are much more pious. Of course, they always preface it, by saying "I'm not making any judgements, but...", but of course they are judging you, and rather harshly, I might add. By the way, if you hear the phrase "I'm not judging you", you can be assured that they are. I have to laugh, because it is almost comical, like Dana Carvey's Church Lady the way they like to make you feel small. Oh! The church ladies I've run into in my lifetime. And friends, I am telling you now, that if you think you can evangelize by being one of these holier-than-thou, I'm-a-better-Christian-than-you type people, you have another think coming. I know, because for many years, I was one of those running away from such people. I've talked to enough non-believers to know that when they see this judgmental example of a "good" Christian, they want nothing to do with our faith. After all, are we all not sinners? This being said, if you truly believe that celebrating Christmas is sinful and you believe it is your duty to warn others, do it in a loving concerned manner.
So yes, I celebrate Christmas for many reasons. First, my family is spread out over the country. Usually Christmas is the only time that we all have vacation days at the same time. Secondly, there are a lot of traditions involved in Christmas. Those old ornaments on the trees have been in my family for generations. Some are the only tangible things I have of my grandparents. Traditions and memories are what sustain us when times get rough. Thirdly, what's wrong with celebrating? Even in the Bible there were celebrations. I truly do not believe that God gave us life so that we were to go around acting joyless. On the contrary, being cheerful and kind can be two of the best example of being a Christian. I once had a substitute teacher, Miss Schmidt, that was the very personification of joy and patience. I learned more about what it was to be a Christian from spending one day with her, then I learned in a year of sermons. As for some of the customs being pagan, well the devil likes to take all that is good and make it his own. I even read that putting a candle in your window is a pagan practice. Really? How about it just looks pretty and I like the idea that it's lighting the way for anyone who is lost to come and I will feed you and give you a place to lie your head? These things are just symbols anyway, what matters is what is written in your heart.
The finally argument is that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. What does it matter? If God had wanted us to know the date, He would have given us it in the Bible. What is important is that we acknowledge that "God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son to die for us. That he that believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. As a Christian, everyday should be a Christmas celebration and Thanksgiving!