I’m going to admit loud and clear: Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I could care less if I ever get a gift; I love giving them though. In general, I love the lights, decorations, music, traditions, shows, movies, etc. Now saying that, I know that there are a healthy number of folks who would cringe that a pastor would partake in such frivolity. Got into a discussion with someone who was criticizing me the other day for putting up a tree. After all, how could we adopt such practices that originated in pagan rituals and festivals?
According to historians, Jesus probably wasn’t even born in December and that the tradition of Christmas replaced the Festival of Saturnalia (Cronus in Greek) which was a major holiday already. Throughout the centuries, other things like the evergreen or spruce trees, garland, and wreaths were carried over from pre-Christian Europe where the worship of nature was common. The use of Yule logs, mistletoe, stockings, giving of gifts, decorations representing a collection of pagan practice spurring on fertility, sexuality, longevity, fortune, prosperity, etc.
I just want to ask: As the Church, the people of God saved, cleansed, and forgiven, washed in the Blood and empowered to carry on Christ’s work…why are we always so panicky, fearful, and buying into conspiracy theories and myths? If anyone should be walking in confidence, it should be the children of the King!
“What about food sacrificed to idols?” is an argument brought up constantly. Rewind to the Old Testament and pull up verses about how God condemned worship of Baal, Molech, and other pagan/demonic deities. Paul addresses and leaves it up to personal discernment. Don’t violate your conscience. We have freedom in Christ so don’t tiptoe around anymore. He threw in the caution that we’re free but we must also use wisdom (1 Corinthians 6:12). If we partake of the Christmas season, are we in danger of glorifying some satanic work? What does your heart say? What do you believe? And whom do you worship? “According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
Check out Colossians 1:12-17, 20: “May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light. For he has rescued usfrom the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together… and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.”
Things I glean from this passage:
- We are heirs to God’s blessings, not curses. There is freedom as long as we live in the light.
- We’ve been rescued, never again to be bound by the things of this world. From whom? The devil. What does he do? He deceives, manipulates, with…wait for it…counterfeits. He doesn’t create. All he can do is twist what God has done.
- But, it was God Who created…everything. If people want to go into the origins of the evergreen tree, you can Google it if you want. But let me save you some time. God created it! Regarding Halloween, if people want to go into the origins of the pumpkin, let me help you out. God created it.
- Christ reestablished his rule over creation, both spiritual and physical!
Does that mean I’m going to put a goat’s head in my living room? Obviously not. It doesn’t go with my décor.
If we begin an inquisition against Christmas, don’t stop there. We’d be pretty surprised:
- How much of our Christian practice is traced back to paganism?
- How much of medication is rooted in witchcraft?
- How many of our hymns are based on bar songs?
- Days of the week? Months? What else?
We can’t…we shouldn’t live in fear!
BTW…just one more thing when it comes to Christmas: It’s a no brainer! For this season, we have an open door to talk about CHRIST! He’s everywhere in traditions, Nativity scenes, Carols, media, etc. Who can deny there’s something “different” during this season? And when Christ was born…I’m pretty sure there was a lot of rejoicing and celebrating going on (Read it in Luke, jus sayin). Yes, the Resurrection was the key to our salvation. But His advent is a reminder that God is with us.
“Do people understand it’s true meaning?” If they don’t, that’s our job. Let’s get to work…not cower in Christian bunkers.