A dear brother in Christ sent me a message asking why we celebrate Christmas Day, whilst many others say it is not Biblical, nor Christian to celebrate this day. It is absolutely true that nowhere in the Bible are we encouraged to celebrate Christmas or Christmas Day as a holy day. This celebration seems to arise from paganism and introduced into the Christian Church. But …
1) There is nothing sinful or evil about celebrating what we call Christmas. Just as we celebrate a deceased life with a funeral or memorial service; just as we celebrate a marriage with a wedding service; just as we celebrate a new Church Building (of some sort) with a dedication service … so celebrating the King of Glory, God Incarnate coming to this planet with a Christmas Eve or Day Service is not sinful, wrong or unbiblical.
2) Celebrating Christmas must however be for the right reason. If there is a Church Service, it must be to adore God with a grateful, thankful heart; hear the Word expounded to convict believers to pursue holy living and convict the lost to turn to God through repentance and faith in Jesus … and to enjoy mutual fellowship through singing the praises of God and enjoying each other as “one body” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now it is true that …
(1) Jesus was not born on the 25 December. This day would have been, weather wise, the wrong time of the year for stars to appear, as one example. Some have put forth the 25th September as an alternative … but it does not really matter. It is not the day or month or season … it is what we do on this day that is important.
(2) The poverty into which Jesus came, however, is significant because He came from such glory and majesty the world knows nothing of … to a cattle stable as a shelter … to a feeding trough as a bed … to the expression of poverty we today don’t know. This is significant because no one in high positions such as the king, the governor, the high priest or fellow priests, the Sanhedrin (Pharisees, Sadducees or Scribes) or the wealthy could lay claim to Him who came as Messiah. He was owned by none … rather he was rejected because He was not the expected Messiah. He did not fill the self-styled description the people drafted. The way He came was intentional because He came to save the soul sick sinner. He says He did not come for the healthy but the sick. Those who thought because of their wealth and status they were “good” people … so good they did not need a Messiah. Meditate upon this … Jesus came for people like you and me!
(3) The important matter is that this is God who became incarnate. As difficult as it is to grasp when the mind and heart are still lost in sin, the saved soul knows through experience that God, according to His Word is One God in Three Persons. Each person forming the Oneness of God. There is the Father, the Son and the Spirit … One God. The Son is sent into this world through a virgin and born man. He is fully God and fully man … He is the Godman, born without the aid of a human father … meaning there is no Adamic sinful depravity transferred to Him as by human fathers. He grows up, living a sinless life. His existence has no wealth and splendor. He has no status; no power and authority for He did not enter the Rabbinical School, was not a Pharisee, Scribe or Sadducee …and He did not come from the Levitical Blood line to be a priest. But He did not need any of this because His authority was not human, it was divine. The power He had was not because He descended from the royal line of David. His power was because He is God. Because of these things He is the perfect sin offering … acceptable to the Triune God as full and final payment for the sin of all who will believe. Only He, through substitution is able to satisfy the legal and just requirements the Triune God set for man’s pardon and redemption.
3) Christmas must look to the Cross of the Lord Jesus. As someone coined the phrase … “from the Cradle to the Cross”. The Lord Jesus Christ’s salvific ministry is one package … the promise, the virgin birth, the holy life, the exemplary ministry and the death on the Cross, after which He rose from the dead on the third day and sometime later ascended into heaven from where He came. You see, if you take all this into account and this is in your mind when you celebrate Christmas Day … there is nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas Day! Now I want to give you a few pointers for the celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day. (You might have others).
(1) We do attend Church and apart from tomorrow (Christmas Day), if my memory serves me right … I preached in a Church every Christmas Day since I started preaching some 40 years ago. We start our day in God’s House, with God’s People, around God’s Word.
(2) Jenny and I are then scheduled to celebrate a “feast” with beloved friends. It will be meat on the spit. We will drink cool drinks; we will eat good food; we will tell stories and laugh and joke; and we will do this as the Children of God.
(3) We will love and enjoy our brothers and sisters in Christ whom we fellowship with. There is nothing better than exploring deeper fellowship in preparation for our eternal fellowship.
(4) Such fellowship on Christmas Day is totally Biblical (as it is on any other day).
Ac 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. There will be teaching from the Word as a gathered body (Fellowship) with prayer. We won’t be coming to the Table though. Then in the home we will eat with glad and sincere hearts, praising our God and enjoying each other’s favor. I do think of those who will be alone; those in hospitals and those in prisons, especially Christians incarcerated in countries where the Gospel is banned. Let us remember them prayerfully as we enjoy ourselves. Our family in Chicagoland will have a Hindu lady join them on Christmas Day because she wants to celebrate Christmas. She will be surprised by the food, but more because the Gospel will permeate the fellowship.
Lord Jesus, thank You that we may celebrate Christmas for Your honor and glory. Amen.