There are some devoted Christians who object to the observance of Christmas. They say Christmas is not Christ’s birthday. It is true that no one knows exactly the day and year when Jesus was born. However, this does not mean that we cannot observe Christmas. We celebrate Christmas as an event in the life of Jesus’ birth.
Some object to Christmas because of worldliness and the unchristian revelry that takes place during the holidays. This is equally true that many do not honour Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The unbelieving world sees Christmas as a golden time for boosting income by Christmas sales, Christmas shows and Christmas parties. Christmastide has become the major commercial event of the year.
Still today, most people, however, are unaware of the significance of Christmas. Perhaps, they would perceive it as a time for Santa Claus to bring gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening of Christmas Eve. Others are apathetic.They go along with the celebration of the season. They may join in singing Christmas carols, but they never ask themselves who Jesus is or why He came. They don’t think of their need to believe on Him and receive Him as their Saviour. Are you among the indifferent? To ignore Him and His claims is to reject Him. Christmas demands a decision about Christ. The choice is yours.
Here is an interesting report from England. Before the advent of Christmas carols, the celebration of Christmas had become so worldly, depraved and rowdy that it was unsafe to venture on the streets of London and other big cities. Things became so bad that the Government had to ban Christmas celebrations by an Act of Parliament.
The people of England had forgotten the real meaning of Christmas. They had all but banished Christ from Christmas and desecrated the day with senseless and wanton revellings, drunkenness, debauchery and depravity. Decent people found it safer to remain indoors while riotous activities continued outside. The situation became so shameful that in 1644 a law was passed making it illegal to commemorate Christmas in any way whatsoever. Imagine the disgrace it must have caused the name of Jesus.
What can we do as believers to ensure the sanctity of our Christmas? We can do something both in church and at home. Let us invite unsaved friends, and relatives to the Christmas service where they may hear the Gospel, some may be the first time. The same can be done at home. Our faith must make us different from the world. It must make us effective witnesses for the Lord. Let us honour Jesus at Christmas.
If the world has turned Christmas into revelry, let us make it a day of Christian love and fellowship and a day of honouring Christ. Let us make much of the Christmas story in the Bible, of Christmas carols, of Christian love and fellowship.
Christians can give gifts that really express love. We can send greeting cards with Scripture verses and with holy admonitions on them.
Is it wrong to have a day of rejoicing? Is it wrong to feast and to send portions to others? No indeed. When the remnant of Israel went back to the land of promise from the captivity in Babylon, under Nehemiah, the law was read and explained, and the people wept. But it was not a time for weeping, but a time for rejoicing. The walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. The gates had been hung. The city had been restored as the city of God, and the worship had begun. Let us listen to the plain commands of the Lord in such a case, as given in Nehemiah 8:9,10.
“And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people. This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”.
And we are glad to learn in verse 12 below:
“And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.”
If the Israelites honoured God by having a day of joy and feasting and of sending portions to others because the wall was rebuilt, the gates were set up, and the worship re-established, then Christian people today do well to have a day of rejoicing over the birth of the Saviour and to “send portions” to one another and to make merry with spiritual joy.
At Christmas season, if you pass through Orchard Road, you will see the decorating lights and hear the carols from the departmental stores. Although all these do not capture the essence of our celebration of the birth of Jesus, it provides an opportunity for you to tell the world that Jesus came to declare that Jesus is the light of the world.
The apostle John testified, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:4). As we commemorate the birth of the Lord Jesus, let’s be mindful of how much brighter this world is because He came into it. Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). How has Jesus brightened your life? One of the hymn writers wrote: “The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin. The Light of the world is Jesus”.