Sunday, December 23, 2007

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

There are some Christians and so-called Christians (the Jehovah's Witnesses in particular) who frown upon the whole idea of celebrating Jesus' birth. They often say, "You know, nowhere in the Bible are we told to celebrate Christmas and there is no record that the early church did so." I say phooey on that. I believe we do have Scriptural justification to celebrate Christ's birth. Look at Luke chapter 2:13, shortly after an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds on the night of Christ's birth. It says that "a multitude of the heavenly host [angels] praising God, [were] saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." The angels of God seemed pretty celebratory about the birth of Christ, and I think we should be too. If that excitement over God's fulfillment of dozens of prophecies and the coming of the promised Savior and Messiah spills over into singing "Joy to the World," "Silent Night," "Away in a Manger," and the giving of gifts to others, I think we are following right in the footsteps of God [who gave us a gift, e.g., John 3:16, James 1:17] and the angels of God. I think it brings great pleasure to God to see those who seek to make His Son the reason for the season. Sure, it's not something that God has commanded us to do (e.g., "Celebrate my Son's birth once a year!") but that may be why it blesses Him all the more. We are celebrating His gift, we are rejoicing in His coming, out of love for Him, not becase we have some command to obey. When my kids celebrate the fact that I'm their Dad, by making a gift, or telling me something sweet, I don't frown and say, "Stop it! I never commanded you to celebrate. Return the presents! Stop the kind comments!" No. I rejoice all the more that they would freely decide to celebrate (rejoice) all on their own. As you celebrate Jesus this Christmas with a pure heart, you can rest assured that God is delighted in your celebration. The angel told the shepherds, "Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of a great joy [sounds like reason to celebrate] which shall be for all the people [sounds like you and me!]; for today in the city of David there has been born fo you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." What a reason to celebrate not just this week, but every day!

I pray that all of you who visit this blog and our website have a very merry, blessed, joy-filled Christmas celebrating along with the angels "His indescribable gift!" (2 Cor. 9:15).