Went off on a “Holiday Rant” to hubby earlier on the phone. Reposting this (originally written in 2014) because I still feel this way – just ask Barry, because he got an earful!
I struggle a little more each year with the concept of Christmas. Now, I’m not going to waste time going through all the gyrations about Christmas being a Paegan holiday. You can see places like http://www.livescience.com/25779-christmas-traditions-history-paganism.html or http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm for some already published information on such things! That’s not the focus of this writing. What I want is to address the believer – those that keep saying they want Christ kept as the reason for the season – and what I truly feel that means.
Dear Brothers in Christ, ponder these things with me, please. Christ was born to be both man and God. Although Mary – the vessel used for the Messiah’s virgin birth – had been visited by the angel Gabriel, it appears even she didn’t get the full grasp of what was being accomplished by God. The Bible states, in regard to the shepherds and their visit:
Hurrying off, they (the shepherds) came and found Miryam and Yosef, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. Upon seeing this, they made known what they had been told about this child; and all who heard were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart. Luke 2:16-19
Now, let’s think of the wise men who visited. Jesus was so important that wise men brought him valuable gifts to celebrate His birth. This was the custom extended to only kings at that time. So, basically the wise men proclaimed Jesus a king – worldly confirmation of what the heavenlies had already proclaimed. They didn’t show up randomly, or quickly. They did not arrive at the feeding trough Jesus was born in. It took them time, up to two years in accordance to the timeline shown in the Bible. They left their homes, risking their lives with King Herod, to honor Christ with their gifts.
So, Mary – who was there at conception – pondered what the shepherds spoke of the angels sharing with them while they were in the fields. Jesus received gifts for his birth (not AT it) because HE was King, and worthy of those gifts. THIS was the birth of Christ in a nutshell.
I challenge my fellow believers in Jesus Christ as Messiah, LORD and Savior, to really celebrate Christ’s birth. To me, this looks a whole lot different than what we do. WE assign lordship to friends and family by extending presents to them. (Remember, it was Jesus who received the gifts) and WE accept lordship by accepting presents from others. Think about that for a minute – ponder it, as Mary pondered things. WE decorate our churches with the worldly delights of trees, lights, bows and other such frills of the Christmas season. The only “decorations” at Christ’s birth was the adornment of a star from heaven and the appearance of the heavenlies proclaiming His Glory. Anything WE do in our churches and homes are pale – to the point of non-existent – in comparison. WE send out Christmas cards that remind people that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” or that they need to “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Do those even begin to tell what the angels gave the shepherd, and what they shared (both going to and coming back from) with those they saw?
… when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know: (emphasis mine) you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Luke 2:9-12
I’ll go out on a limb here, and say our cards and greetings are not even coming CLOSE!
You want Jesus to be the reason for your celebration this year, Dear Christian? I dare say He would find it more appealing for you to be out telling the Good News, sharing His love, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and telling all about the sin they are bound to, UNLESS they receive their delivery from it – that delivery being through Christ. Your gift to Him should be to share His gift to you.
And, really, should WE only be doing that on a “special” day set aside by the world? I’m just sayin’…