It is about the Lord Jesus Christ's birth celebration commonly known as 'Christmas' The writer questions the celebrations with biblical evidences. Christ never asked His followers to celebrate His Birth, instead He asked or commanded His followers to celebrate His death.
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On December 25th people the world over will celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. This central event in history divided the calendar into B C (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini - "In the Year of Our Lord"). He was born to die. The meaning of His name is "He will save His people from their sins" (in Hebrew- "Jesus" means "Savior" Matthew 1:21). The prophets foretold His birth years before it took place. Isaiah the Prophet predicted it in 740 B.C. (Isaiah 9:6, and 7:14). Prophet Micah also predicted the same event in 742 B.C. (Micah 5:2). Christ's sufferings too were described beforehand by Isaiah (Isaiah Chapter 52:13- 53:12). The very purpose of Christ's coming to earth is to die for the sins of mankind.
The recent movement to replace the word ''Christmas'' by other names in America and Britain is an interesting development. In America the conservative argue that Christmas has become almost a dirty word in a politically correct society. The recent report says that a similar situation is arising in Britain too.
In this connection let us look at the reality. What exactly does the Bible say about such celebrations? The Bible has not given any importance to the birthday celebrations. The great Prophets of the Bible Job and Jeremiah have cursed it (Job 3:1-11, and Jeremiah 20: 14-15). In the whole Bible only two birth celebrations are mentioned, one in the Old Testament, that is of the Pharaoh, a heathen King and another one in the New Testament that is, Herod the cruel and ungodly King. On both these occasions some tragic events took place. On Pharaoh''s birthday, he hanged his chief baker (Genesis 40: 20-22) and on Herod''s birthday he beheaded a godly and innocent person ''John the Baptist'', the forerunner of Jesus Christ. (Mark 6:21-28). Giving too much importance to that particular day is not good, because God had made all days equal and wants people to worship Him in the same tempo and manner on all the other days of the year as well.
Many celebrate Christmas without Christ in their heart. Unless Christ is born in the heart, no one can meaningfully celebrate Christmas and really experience the full joy of the occasion. Can Christmas be a celebration without Christ? With Christ dwelling inside, one can celebrate Christmas not only on 25th December but every day of his life.
At Christmas we tend to give much importance and priority to getting new clothes, decorating our houses, singing carols, preparing delicacies and savories. Often the main person, who is the cause of the celebration, is forgotten and out of the picture. We have no time or rather do not take pains to think about Him, His great teachings and His great sacrifice. Rather we take this opportunity to amuse ourselves and entertain our friends and relatives many times in an unholy way, which brings dishonor to His name as well as to our faith. Instead, let us celebrate this awesome occasion in a worthy manner as the shepherds who glorified God (Luke 2:20) when they received the news.
Jesus never asked His followers to remember His Birth; instead he commanded his followers to remember His Death. This is very clearly mentioned in the book of Luke, "..And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me. Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22: 19 -20)." This institution is called ''The Lord's Supper'', He has asked the believers to carry out this till His second coming. Christians cannot neglect this institution, because it is His commandment. Christians are looking forward to the Lord's glorious appearing the second time. Instead of wasting time, money and energy on merry-making and celebrations, why not take the opportunity to tell others about His first coming. Let us make known the teaching of the Lord to many who do not yet know Him even after 2000 years of His coming.
A survey says the greatest number of accidents take place on the eve of Christmas. What does it show? People go about the day in an unworthy manner, and that leads to a number of accidents.
The time is very short. The Bible says, "The end of all things is at hand" therefore be serious and watchful in prayer (I Pet. 4:7). Recent world events are vivid signs of His imminent return. Before His coming, let us strive together and faithfully go about the Lord's great commission, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey every thing I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20. This is the great and last commission Christ has given to His followers to follow.
May the Lord help us to fulfill this task which our Lord entrusted to us.
Let us celebrate His Death by obeying His commandments!!
May God help us.
First Published in Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad, A Back to the Bible India Publication
Harvest Time Magazine, Mumbai
P V's Google's Knol pages
P V's Google's Knol pages