“. . . I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
The “bah humbug” attitude toward Christmas is widespread today. The liberal pulpits have demythologized Christmas, while evangelical pulpits preach against it due to its pagan symbolism. They don’t like the pagan Christmas tree, the gluttonous feasts, the special emphasis on children, and particularly Santa Claus himself.
The Puritans hated Christmas so much that they outlawed it both in America and England in the 17th Century. Even some Baptists advocated dropping it from the calendar, charging it was pagan. But that is not true!
Christmas originated in the 4th Century out of the church’s need to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to all the world. Many of our Christmas customs do have pagan symbolism in them, but our Christian forefathers were very wise. They baptized those pagan elements and used them to help spread the Christian gospel.
When we think about Christmas, it is easy to see the connections. Christmas is a time of:
Lights—beautiful lights on trees and homes, and necessary lights for our safety and well-being. Jesus is the light of the world and He gives light to those who follow Him.
The Christmas tree—may remind us of a tree upon which Jesus died.
Parties and dinners—remind us of a Christ who hallowed feasts by his presence and is often called the Bread of life.
Family reunions—remind us that all Christians are part of the family of God, and as such will all have a happy reunion in heaven one day.
Emphasis on children—reminds us that Christ loves children, and that unless we become as a little child, we cannot enter God’s kingdom.
Santa Claus—comes from a land of snow white purity to give gifts to everyone. Jesus is the greatest gift-giver. He gives us life and that more abundantly.
I don’t now what you’re doing Christmas. But as for me, I am going to enjoy it. I am going to worship the one whom Christmas is all about, enjoy the beautiful music, rest, eat with family and friends, and show them how much I love them (hugs and kisses).
Merry Christmas and God Bless You.
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a writer and retired minister who is president of People for the Christian Way, a nonprofit organization, a ministry of helping people succeed through use of Christian principles and behavior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org