The following is an exchange about Christmas that took place between myself and two people dear to me.
I am sorry I called your gifts a ‘Christmas party’ since you all don’t celebrate or approve of that. Please give my apology to your family.
Another man, very dear to me, was raised in the cult of a false gospel of cruel legalism. I sent him a Christmas card with a snowy winter scene captured by John’s camera in our hills of Suches. The card just said, “Let Heaven and Nature Sing.”
His response to my card was that in his world, Christmas was a pagan holiday. His church and family didn’t celebrate such a thing. He asked me kindly why I was joining a pagan Christmas holiday. I want to share with you my answer to him.
How I View Christmas
I’m sorry to have sent you a Christmas card. I won’t do that again in respect for your beliefs.
But since you ask, I’ll tell you how I view Christmas ~
I don’t celebrate a pagan holiday. I celebrate Jesus’ real and wondrous birth! I love the season for the churches! I love the musicals and all the hymns. I have sung them loudly from childhood – the baby Jesus “away in a manger” – for MANY Christmases now (smile).
Jesus didn’t fight Roman rule. He ate with sinners. He stooped to ask for water from an immoral woman with six husbands. He walked in the midst of the world and the cruelly religious and it never soiled Him. In His last prayer, Jesus knew that His followers would have to be IN the world but could live in Him, as not OF the world.
That Jesus would stoop so low as to enter our humanity—that makes me cry. So I sing ‘Silent Night’ to Him. And I pray with exuberant joy that His name will come to be known to lost multitudes through the Christmas season. I don’t care about the abuse, the excess, the greed, wherever that goes. It is not my interest nor my responsibility. The world is always just the same boring ole world, but during this one time of year, all the lost world will hear His Holy Name! Everywhere! How can we not be happy about that?
I want the Holy Spirit to exalt God’s Son, to open new eyes to the Babe in the manger and call people to adore the One Who came down from Heaven to live with us, for us – to save us. I beg the Father that eyes will be opened to see that this BABE is the center of the world because it IS HIS World.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder.
The Worship and Celebration of Christmas
I worship like a child for this Child, Who was ‘given to us!‘ I go back to the story in Luke and celebrate with the shepherds in Bethlehem’s fields and the angels in heavenly glory. I love the pictures of all those stories. I always want to see the live manger scenes. I watch the best movies about His birth. I cry and love Him all new.
“Oh, night divine…when Christ was born!”
So I exult and rejoice that whether it is believers, sinners, heathens, or pagans, they hear that sweet and matchless name everywhere, just once a year. And I love it that one day, all the world will see Him and know that God became a babe. A Baby! Then “every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” Oh, Hallelujah.
I love to stop and focus on this first coming of His life – once a year. The story never grows old, it is ever a miracle to consider and to marvel.
Paul didn’t care that the motive was jealousy of some who used Jesus. He was happy just so the Brilliant Name of Jesus was spoken into this Dark world.
I believe in the power of Jesus’ name, that wherever Christ is named, the world changes.
Christmas inspires me to pray with passion for those who don’t know the meaning of that Name so precious to me, those who don’t live in the lovely world of Christ’s Body – where all His names are spoken and He is celebrated daily and personally!
So, dear brother, I might just send you a card next year to prod you to pray with me for the pagan-heathen-Christmas world and we can listen to ‘O Holy Night’ together!
Oh, you are missing such joy!
Much love and delight in the Baby Jesus!