WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ALL ABOUT?

Christmas seems to be many things to many different people.  Of course we know that not everyone celebrates Christmas, such as Jewish cultures and Islam, Hindi and Bhuddists.  These do not celebrate Christmas, because they are not Christian.  Yet you see them in the shops buying Christmas presents and decorating their houses and setting up trees as readily as Christians do.  How can that be possible?

Christmas has been interpreted by many to be many different things in the TV shows and movies, and in popular literature. This Christmas can be celebrated by anybody because it does not involve Christ.  So we celebrate  Xmas.

Family time.

Christmas has been portrayed as a time for family.  This seems a totally innocent interpretation, but this can  lead to  sadness, depression and loneliness.  It It is also a time of great stress as we try to get through huge lists of baking, cooking, decorating, shopping mailing cards, and so on. This Christmas does not solve anything, but becomes an outlet to allow us to show how “good” we can be.  When we have a nice family dinner, purchased the right gifts and even put money in the red Salvation Army kettles or contribute to the many charities that show up this time of year, we have done what is required for the celebration of Christmas.  Unfortunately it leaves many people without a family or too poor for even the bare Christmas niceties behind.  Hence, the increase of suicides for those feeling lonely and hopeless  and general depression, anxiety and stress for people.

The real Christmas is focused on what the Bible teaches about Christmas–that Christmas is the birth of Christ.  He, who gave His life for the whole human race, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. He invites you to join the family of Christians who do not look for earthly solutions but find all their needs met in the promises of God.  By looking to God for help and knowing Him and all that He has promised, a lot of the loneliness and uselessness of life goes away, and we see purpose in what we do.

 

Peace Time

This is a real frustrating theme.  After all, the song says, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men.”  Reality does not bear that out.  There is war all over the world.  Hate that causes awful things to be done to people.  Millions of displaced refugees looking for a place away from the violence in their own country.  How does that kind of peace ever hope to exist in this world?

It does not work, of course.  The Peace that the Bible talks about is the peace between God and man.  The ability to once again go to God to ask for forgiveness, for help and strength.  That is what Christmas is really all about.  Christ coming in this world as a man so that he could set things right again between God and man.  That is the really good news of Christmas.  When we can share in Christ’s redeeming work, we can again find comfort and hope with our God, who we had insulted in paradise by trying to become like God by eating from the “Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.”

 

AN INVITATION TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS

So, we can look at the worldly forms of Christmas that we see in the malls, and be reminded that there is another Christmas.  One with warmth and joy.  One where the many Christmas carols make sense.  This is the invitation to celebrate Christmas with Christ.

Christ came to this world to defeat the devil and his host of demons. He defeated their aim to enslave the whole world through their sins.  God’s justice demanded that those sins be punished by eternal death.  But Christ came to take on that punishment in our place and therefore we no longer have to be punished, if we seek our redemption in Jesus Christ.  What a wonderful thing to celebrate.  We might even put up lights on our houses and decorate pine trees to show the world what a wonderful thing it is that we are celebrating.  We gather with “brothers” and “sisters” at Christmas concerts and carolling, singing the praises of our God, so that the whole world can see how joyful we are.

Those who refuse to believe in the message of salvation will still be punished.  They continue in the futility of their existence, but those who look to Jesus Christ can now enjoy the love of God and rejoice, because they know what lies ahead.  What a reason to celebrate, what a reason to be joyful, what a reason to shout out to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord.  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  All words that we hear at this time of the year, but meaningless unless we know what made him King and how it benefits us.

So join in the celebration of the true Christmas by learning about Christ and his work and his plans–his plans for you and for me.

Questions for discussion.

  1. What do we have to do to celebrate the real Christmas?
  2. Does celebrating the real Christmas involve going to Church?
  3. How can I make a change today?

For the reality of our invitation contact the administrators of this website for an invitation to join us in worship and celebration of Christ’s birth.

One thought on “WHAT IS CHRISTMAS ALL ABOUT?

  1. RECORD OF THE ONLINE PORTION OF THE CHAT:

    paulj

    We’re here!

    19:30
    paulj

    I like blue better.

    19:34
    Audrey

    Delinquent attendees are signing in.

    19:34
    paulj

    Hi!

    19:35
    paulj

    There’s a little guy here.

    19:35
    Audrey

    besides you?

    19:35
    paulj

    Yeah, I think he’s taking out a diaper.

    19:36
    Audrey

    Explain

    19:36
    paulj

    Well, he isn’t talking at all, so I suppose he won’t participate.

    19:37
    Audrey

    Confused but maybe you should engage him.

    19:37
    paulj

    Yes, I have been talking to him, but he is ignoring me, just carrying this diaper.

    19:37
    paulj

    Anyway, that is an interesting article on Christmas.

    19:38
    Audrey

    Glad you liked it.

    19:38
    Audrey

    You know that the line on the bottom would require one of us to make a physical contact. To invite and take him to church or a christmas concert?

    19:39
    paulj

    Yes, that is a good line…

    19:39
    paulj

    I have a question…

    19:39
    paulj

    (I’m curious what you think.)

    19:40
    paulj

    Christians often have an argument against Halloween activities because of their pagan origins; however, what about the pagan elements of Christmas?

    19:40
    paulj

    (Like the Yule log, and the date.)

    19:44
    Audrey

    The date is irrelevant. We could celebrate Christ’s birth any date. but it is a joyful celebration for christians

    19:45
    paulj

    True enough… The Dec 25 annual celebration is certainly not biblically prescriptive, but it is still edifying.

    19:45
    paulj

    Unfortunately, as the article indicates, Christmas means a whole lot of things, but not so much about Christ, for many people.

    19:46
    paulj

    I’m pretty sure that for most people in our country, it is considered “family time.”

    19:48
    Audrey

    when they do celebrate and talk of the babe in the manger, that is something the unrepentant heart can handle; sin and the Christ on the cross is harder to love

    19:49
    paulj

    Hmm. Good point. This babe comes into the world, and there and shepherds, angels, and wise men, but “why did He come?”

    19:50
    paulj

    Also…. what are some good Christmas texts? Obviously chapter 2 from the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament; but I’m also wondering about something in Revelation, and maybe a chapter in Isaiah.

    19:52
    paulj

    Chapter 9 of Isaiah in the Old Testament.

    19:53
    paulj

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” — from Isaiah 9

    19:53
    paulj

    OOo, that didn’t format well.

    19:56
    Audrey

    sorry paul, I’m having trouble formulating coherent thoughts

    19:56
    paulj

    No problem. I’m going to try to paste this again, with the correct white-spacing:

    19:56
    paulj

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” — from Isaiah 9

    19:56
    paulj

    19:57
    paulj

    Still no good.

    19:58
    Audrey

    Isaiah 7:14 says: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a v

    19:59
    Audrey

    Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she shall call His name Immanuel.

    19:59
    paulj

    Yes…

    19:59
    paulj

    I’m finding something…

    20:01
    Audrey

    Henry is trying to sign in, but can’t. How does he do it?

    20:01
    paulj

    Oh, if he just goes to the chat room, he will be a guest… no need to sign in.

    20:02
    Audrey

    Okay , he’s in

    20:03
    paulj

    In 2010 we did three lessons on Christmas for the children: Part 1: Prophecy, angels, John the Baptist, and shepherds: https://scripturechildren.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/promise-birth-christ/ Part 2: temple, wise men, Egypt, Herod, Nazareth: https://scripturechildren.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/baby-jesus/

    20:03
    Guest1450324508

    If you follow the text of Handel’s Messiah you see lots of texts that foretell the birth of Christ

    20:04
    paulj

    I have never looked at the lyrics for that.

    20:04
    paulj

    Oh: http://opera.stanford.edu/iu/libretti/messiah.htm

    20:05
    paulj

    Wow, it’s excellent. It doesn’t avoid the sin or cross subjects either.

    20:06
    Guest1450324508

    All the lyrics are directly taken from the bible

    20:07
    paulj

    Yes… there are a lot of scriptures there.

    20:07
    Audrey

    Every year pure gospel is sung by and to those who just like the music but they still hear the “good news” every year!

    20:08
    paulj

    Exactly… wow. I thought about the songs “Hallelujah” and “Amazing Grace.” How many people even know what those words mean?

    20:08
    paulj

    Oh… one of your Questions for discussion: “What do we have to do to celebrate the real Christmas”?

    20:09
    paulj

    Mostly, we go to a family gathering. Sometimes I’ve asked if I can read a Bible verse before the meal.

    20:09
    paulj

    That’s after we go to church in the morning.

    20:10
    Guest1450324508

    One of the thoughts in my post is that you have to have knowledge. You cannot understand Christmas unless you know what the bible has revealed about Christ, The Devil and yourself.

    20:10
    paulj

    Yes… and we can spend time reading and pondering those things the whole season.

    20:11
    paulj

    It’s difficult to bring it into context with others who are simply enjoying the merriment of family time and good food.

    20:12
    paulj

    I think Santa needs to go.

    20:15
    paulj

    20:15
    paulj

    Here’s the guy with the diaper.

    20:15
    Guest1450324508

    The tradition of Santa started in the 4th Century with Saint Nicholas. The Dutch made him the patron saint of children. and there the tradition of giving gifts comes from. But in Holland St. Nicholas has always been celebrated on the 5th of December, and so does not need to affect Christmas. In our house it never did until we came to America.

    20:16
    paulj

    St Nicholas was a real fellow, right? Oh… Sinterklaas in Holland?

    20:17
    paulj

    Oooo, also, question 2… “Does celebrating the real Christmas involve going to church?”

    20:17
    paulj

    I think it is good, but of course not biblically prescriptive.

    20:18
    Guest1450324508

    Yes he was a bishop in Smyrna. in South Asia. He was known then already for his generosity towards the poor

    20:18
    paulj

    So, he was a nice guy.

    20:18
    Guest1450324508

    Definitely. His location was in Turkey not south Asia

    20:18
    paulj

    Ok.

    20:19
    paulj

    What were your thoughts on Q 2?

    20:22
    Guest1450324508

    The article talks about family. Meeting with Brothers and Sisters. If you want all the blessings that come with your belief in Christ you belong in Church. It is the only place where you get the preaching which is the power unto salvation. The communion of saints is set against the loneliness of this world.

    20:23
    paulj

    Good to think about our family in Christ… and yes, the preaching is God’s means for teaching us His Law and His Good news.

    20:23
    paulj

    Security guard is here.

    20:23
    paulj

    GTG… see you later!

    20:24
    Guest1450324508

    Good evening.

    20:24
    Guest1450324508

    What happened to the guy with the diaper?

    20:24
    paulj

    I’m just gonna leave him here. Maybe security will delete him.

    20:25
    Audrey

    lol

Comments are closed.