According to history Christmas started around the year 300 a.d. As I understand, the Roman emperor Augustine; later given the title St. Augustine; became a Christian. HE requested that all his people to become Christians. The people loved their new ruler and were glad to follow the Christian beliefs.
Soon it became obvious, they did miss their pagan holidays; especially the winter festivals in honor of the gods of winter and the spring festivals in honor of the Greek goddess Ester. From this many of our non-Christian ideas have come; such as the Easter Bunny and Frosty the Snowman. Augustine wanted his people to be happy. At his mother suggestion he declared that winter festival would be celebrated as Christ-mass; hence Christmas, and spring festival would be resurrection day.
Many of the other ideas and customs we have come from well meant thoughts and folklore; most having little if anything to do with Christ. If they are well meant then what's wrong with them? Let's look at the bible.
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the (golden) calf and announced, "tomorrow there will be a festival to the lord." So the next day the people rose up early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
If this describes your eating habits at Christmas think about how to honor Christ by
1. Eating only till hunger stops
2. When you have a dinner, do not invite your relatives or rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. Instead invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
To really do something in the name of the Lord is to give him all the glory and honor, none for self or man.
When is the true birthday of Christ? No one really knows for sure; some think it's in August, others say October one group has it marked for January. Since the bible doesn't make it known, it seems unimportant what day we pick for Christ's birthday. What is important is the spirit and method of celebrating Christ's birthday.
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and myrrh."
If it were your birthday, would I be expected to celebrate it by giving my son, daughter, wife or even my dog a present? Of course not! You would expect a present. Why then do we celebrate crests birthday by giving presents to each other and even to our dog and cat.
Try something new this Christmas. Instead of giving presents to each other give your gift to the Lord. How you ask?
"Sell your possessions and give to the poor"
In other words take the money you would have otherwise spent on presents and donate it to a worthwhile charity such as the Rescue Mission, or foreign missionaries, or even send bibles to Russia.
|In the 1800's the Reform Church; now the Lutheran Church; came up with the idea of using a tree at Christmas. The tree is often used in the bible as a reference to the cross. They picked the evergreen signifying the everlasting life of Christ. Only decorating it with roses, representing the Rose of Sharon, and a single candle at the top representing the one true light of the world; Christ.|
This is what the Lord says "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.
For the customs of the people are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it won't totter."
This sounds much like our Christmas tree.
Is a Christmas tree wrong? Consider this.
You must not worship the Lord your God their way
Does everything on your Christmas tree point to the Lord? Or is it decorated with silver and gold as the people in Jeremiah 10 did? Remember it says "the costumes of the people are worthless".
|Last lets consider our eating and partying habits at Christmas. I praise God that most of the people I know don't drink so office parties are not a problem. But think about our eating habits. Do we spend several days in advance preparing the dinner? When we sit down, do we eat till we are ready to burst? Do we spend the rest of the day wishing we could eat|
What is my purpose for writing this and sending it to you?
It's simple. The world has taken Christ; out of Christmas; we even write it x-mas. It could be better called Commerce Day. Stores preparing for x-mas 6 months to a year in advance. When a worldly person walks into the home of a Christian they should immediately see a difference. If a worldly person goes to the home of a Christian and sees a carbon copy of their home, then the message of Christ is lost and it is truly x-mas. The world should see at a glance that things are different and know that Christ is present in your home.
2 Cor. 6:17
"Therefore, come out from them and be separate," says the Lord.
Have a meaningful and Christ-filled Christmas. And prayerfully think about how to put Christ back into x-mas