I don’t have any real idea on what day of the year Jesus was born. I’m quite certain it wasn’t on December 25th but that doesn’t cause me to disdain the notion of celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th. I have several friends whose children were born on inconvenient times of the year so they celebrate their children’s birthday on different occasions. Does that make them crazy or somehow off base? I don’t think so. One family I know had triplets and they wanted each of their children to have a special birthday just for them, so they told their children when they were old enough to decide, to pick a day in the year for their birthday and they would celebrate their birthday on that day every year. It seems to me that this is what is done with the birth of Jesus. People want to celebrate the greatest birth of all time so they chose a day and celebrate it. It sounds like a good idea to me.
I am fully aware that the Bible no where commands us to celebrate Christ birth with a holiday once a year. If I were to substitute the worship for God that is done in obedience to God on each Lord’s Day for a once a year celebration of Christmas it would certainly be wrong. But most of the people I know who put significance on worshiping Christ as God and Savior aren’t looking for some easy way out or some substitute for doing what God says. But they rejoice to hear the songs of his birth and to see the joy of hearing the story of His birth all over again. Last night Linda and I were able to attend a choir and band celebration in the North Little Rock East Campus High School. It was a thrill to hear these young people in public school singing to the top of their lungs about the birth of Christ. The rendition they gave of “Mary, did you know?” was phenomenal. For all of those of you who fainted when I said the public high school was singing songs about Christ birth and God’s blessings, of his coming into the world to offer us salvation, wake back up. We’ve allowed someone with an agenda of their own to sell us on the idea that the public schools are given over to the devil and never can do anything with a spiritual or godly message or the media to plant such notions in our head. But that is another topic that I will get to at some point.
I celebrate Christmas because it is a wonderful opportunity to talk to people about Jesus our Lord and Savior when many are ready to listen, some of whom aren’t ready to listen at any other time. To fail to talk about the birth of Jesus at the time when people all around us are singing praise, putting up decorations, putting out nativity scenes and looking for ways to both share with friends and family and honor the Lord Jesus Christ, is to waste an amazing opportunity laid in our lap.
December 25th isn’t the only day I think of Jesus birth or even sing songs about his birth. But why in the world wouldn’t one celebrate such a wonderful occasion on that day when others are thinking about it? How many of the people who refuse to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas refuse to celebrate Washington or Lincoln’s birthday because it isn’t on the right day?
I celebrate Christmas because it is a wonderful time to be with family and friends we love and share good times with each other. Do we give gifts to others? Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. The greatest joy hasn’t been about receiving gifts in any part of my adult life. But it is certainly a joy to see kids unwrap gifts and see the excitement in their eyes. Have businesses often overdone the commercial aspects of Christmas? Of course they have, along with everything else. But the abuse of some doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate it is a proper way that just enjoys people and good times together when we praise and worship the Lord.
I celebrate Christmas because of the blessings that come through such celebration not only to me but for the whole family and for those around us. Someone probably is thinking about this time, “Yes but do you celebrate it as a religious holiday?” My answer would be how can you celebrate the birth of Christ and it not be religious? I don’t know of anything I celebrate that isn’t in some way religious because it will be a time for prayer, singing, and praise for God. I would say of Christmas day as of any other day, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”