Celebrating His Life

About a week ago, a friend of mine made a comment to me about blogging on the whole "taking Christ out of Christmas thing". At the time, I thought she meant how to avoid taking Christ out of Christmas like so many do. But now, looking back, I'm thinking she meant for me to perhaps blog on how she feels we aren't supposed to celebrate Christ's birth in the first place. And after hearing that there are a few of my dear friends that feel that way, I started to study, pray about, and think a lot about the subject. This is what I came up with.

God doesn't tell us to celebrate Christ's birth. That is a true statement.

There is a lot that God doesn't tell us to do. As women, He doesn't tell us to wear makeup or color our hair. In fact, the Bible even looks down upon both things in any passage that I can find in the Bible. God doesn't tell us to do it, and yet, as worldly as it is, something made entirely by the world, for the benefit of only the world, we still continue to do it. This was just one of the many examples that I thought of as something that we do that God does not tell us to do. Yet, for some reason, we seem to look down upon some things more than others. Even things that the Bible talks negatively about ... such as makeup and coloring of hair, yet when the Bible is SILENT about a subject, we are extra careful and often completely avoid it. I'm not sure about this. I wonder how many women will stop wearing makeup after reading this blog, because God didn't give us authority to. None I bet.

You see, if my friends and loved ones want to avoid celebrating Christmas as Christ's birth, than that is their decision. And I completely respect it. It is true, we DO NOT know when Christ was born. And chances are from studying and research, that it isn't even in December at all. Some do not want to celebrate Christ's birth on such a day, because they feel as if the world has made a Pagan holiday to celebrate. And yes, much about our "American Christmas" is worldly. The money we spend on presents, all of the food that we become gluttons over, etc. But I can't help but wonder if we do not celebrate the life of Christ on this day, specifically because it is such a worldly occasion, then how can we take part in this day at all? Do we want to take part in traditions of men, of giving expensive gifts we don't need, and decorating cookies, putting up trees, and doing this all completely void of joy to Christ and feel like this would be pleasing to God? Pleasing to Him because we are not celebrating Christ on this day, we are just doing the pagan traditions? That doesn't make much sense to me. I have almost come to the conclusion, that if you want your Holiday to be void of Christ because God doesn't give us authority to celebrate His beautiful life, then you shouldn't take part in the pagan Holiday at all.

I know an amazing young woman that was given up by her mother when she was just a baby. Her mother had wanted to have an abortion, but decided that she would just have the baby and give her up for adoption. This girl bounced back and forth from the orphanages when she was growing up. People would ask her when her birthday was and she had no clue. She felt as if, despite her circumstances, she would choose a day to celebrate the life that God had given her. The life that her mother had almost taken away, but spared. She had no clue when she was born. But she chose a day of the year, and took that time to celebrate the life she was given. Such a gift, such a blessing.

Is this possible for us to do this for Christ? It just so happens that our country observes December 25th as a Holiday. It just so happens that this day family can get off of work, and we can all gather in a warm home with people we love. So we choose this day to celebrate the life of our Savior. Is that wrong? Don't get me wrong, yes, we should celebrate his life and his death and resurrection every day of our lives. Absolutely. But what about people who have not grown up in a Christian home? What if this is the only time of the year that they have a great opportunity to talk about Jesus with their family. What if in a worldly home this is the only time that those family members have opened minds about God, and will sing songs, and read the Bible? It is a start to becoming a Christian, is it not? It might be the very seed that is planted. Should we tell them not to talk about Christ and his birth because God doesn't tell us to celebrate on that specific day? And then, leave our families to give gifts and eat food every year, but be void of talk about Christ and His gift? This is just puzzling to me. It almost feels like this is another one of Satan's schemes to get people who are not yet Christians, to forget about Christ all together. The more of us that tell our friends and family that we shouldn't celebrate Christ on December 25th, the more we might be taking out the only time of year when the hard hearted people are soft hearted and opened to learning about God and His love. So, ok, maybe He was born in the Spring. But why not celebrate Him anyway when you are there with all of your family and everyone is in a loving and giving mood? The why, you say, is because God didn't tell us to.

I feel that some things that God didn't tell us to do are our choices and opportunities to use wisdom. God didn't tell us in the Bible to watch movies. Especially most of the ones that we have out these days with at least one cuss word, sex scene, or even anti-Christian comments. As a matter of fact, if you study the early Christians, they looked down upon theater all together. But so many that are so sure about what God did not tell us in the Bible, are also the ones that will turn on these movies or reality t.v. shows and watch and be entertained by the very things that put Christ on the cross. I personally believe that God would be very disappointed in us for this. We must use wisdom in all that we do. And I think that watching these movies takes our mind off of Christ and puts vulgar, offensive, and evil things in our minds. But celebrating Christ's life, I feel, does nothing but place our minds on Christ. We might read more about Him with our family, we might sing more songs about Him, we might even watch good, clean, Christmas movies. Do I think that God would be displeased with someone trying to get their family that is lost to focus on Christ? Well, no, I don't.

The conclusion that I have come up with is simple. If it goes against your conscience to celebrate Christ on December 25th, then don't. I would not want anyone to do anything that goes against their conscience. But do I think that someone who wants to keep Christ out of our activities on December 25th and make it strictly pagan and worldly, should continue to take time to do this? Buy Presents, put up decorations, talk about "santa" .. ? No, I don't. I almost think that it should be one or the other. Christ should be in all we do. If He is to be pushed out of something, then why continue to do it? Sure we can teach our children and families that we aren't sure the exact day that Christ was born, but that we are going to celebrate it anyway. Everyday. And if it just so happens that families can take off of work and go on trips and get together on December 25th, then let's all celebrate Christ together on that day! Not so much his BIRTH, but HIS LIFE nonetheless. Would God be displeased with this? I don't believe so. I feel like we must use wisdom here when God was silent. No, He didn't tell us to celebrate the life of Christ,

.. maybe He just assumed we already would.

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1 comment :

  1. Theresa,

    I had been reading several blogs on this subject and had been waiting for more to be written! I'm so glad that you did. I love how you put so much time, thought, prayer and study into everything that you write. You are a great example. I, too, have thought about this subject a lot. You know what? Ben and I came to the exact same conclusions that you did. We do not tell our girls that December 25th is Christ's birthday. I know several families that make "Baby Jesus" a birthday cake on this day and sing Happy birthday to him, and we by no means support celebrating that day as his birthday. But we agreed, that we will not simply refuse to mention Christ during this time. As you said, it should be something we celebrate yearly, monthly, daily, and to purposefully keep him out seems wrong. I want my girls to see and to celebrate Christ in all that they do. Also, in my line of work, as in your previous one, I work with MANY people who are not Christians. People who definitely need Christ. I always know that in December I am going to have more conversations with these girls during this month. Not because I don't talk to them the rest of the year, but because they are more receptive at this time of year. I would not miss this opportunity for anything. If anything, I am thankful that there is one time of year where everyone's hearts are more opened. I think we have to be careful as Christians, not to turn others off. Not change our message by any means, but use whatever tools we have to bring others to Christ. Anyway, I am rambling. I like what you said about using wisdom in all that we do. When it comes to celebrations, movies, dress. I have been called out on some issues from others before when they might be better in one area than I, but struggling in another area themselves. Aren't we all. Definitely some interesting thoughts that you shared. THanks for sharing your heart.


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