I know this takes some imagination. But we know a great deal about Jesus and His attitude about different things. Among his most common topics of what we need to avoid in life were greed and worry. It is obvious he didn’t think very highly of the whole notion of seeing how much I can collect in life or how many things I can get. If you read of his attitude when he entered the temple both at the beginning and the ending of his earthly ministry it is pretty obvious he despised what the people had done in turning the house of prayer into a place of merchandise. There is nothing wrong with a good shopping mall, but when I turn the place of worship and prayer into such it is a whole different story.
Think about Jesus telling the story of the rich farmer when faced with a great crop trying to decide what to do with it all and deciding he would tear down his old barns to build bigger ones and saying to his soul, “Soul take your ease, eat, drink and be merry for you have much laid up for many days.” Remember, Jesus answer to his greedy heart was, “You fool! Tonight you are going to die, then who will get all these things?” He concluded with the statement “So is everyone who is rich in this world and is not rich toward God.” He also challenged those who were worrying and fretting all the time about what they were going to eat, wear or where they would live. Instead he told them to sell their possessions and give to the poor, to get purses that wouldn’t wear out by laying up treasures in heaven instead of on earth.
Just think of those situations in Jesus ministry, what do you think he thinks of Christmas today? Oh, I know the whole deal about this not being his birthday and it originating out of paganism with a mixture of Roman Catholicism. But I don’t really think it would be the fact that people are celebrating his birthday on that one day of the year when he didn’t tell us to or even tell us what day he was born, that would really upset Jesus. The synagogue worship that was done by the Jews in that day wasn’t commanded by God. We don’t even know for sure when and where the synagogue worship originated. Yet Jesus not only didn’t condemn synagogue worship telling them they had no Scriptural authority for it, He went there for worship along with the people regularly. When He called the apostle Paul to be the missionary to the Gentiles he started in each city by going to the local synagogue and preaching to the people there. So why would the Christmas season not be something he would be happy with?
The holiday may have started with all noble ideas Let’s have a time to remember Jesus birth. Even the notion of gift giving was likely a noble idea. Since Jesus received gifts from the wise men as a baby why not share gifts with people we love especially with children. What could be wrong with that? It certainly couldn’t be wrong for families to get together and spend time with each other. How could it be bad to have a play in which children reenact the story about Jesus birth story? It helps the children remember the whole story of Jesus birth for a lifetime. What then would Jesus not like about the way we celebrate Christmas in America today?
Could it be the greed? Could it be the turning the birth of Jesus in a stable into an excuse to spend more than one can afford to buy gifts that won’t last past the new year, that aren’t needed to begin with while neglecting to share with others who struggle having the food and clothes needed? Could it be the frustration and loss of contentment among people?
I get the feeling if it is Jesus we want to honor at this season there are lots of things that need to change.