Seven years ago, my brother and I argued on ‘the rightness or wrongness of celebrating Christmas’. He claimed that the celebration emerged from a pagan culture, isn’t a command by God and Dec. 25 isn’t the exact date that Christ was born.
That left me speechless. I had no counter argument. Anything borne out of paganism can’t be used for God, right? So I consented even though I was a little uncomfortable about his stand. The following Sunday, our teenage pastor threw the floor open for any question bothering us. Like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, I stood up and asked her why we should celebrate Christmas based on my brother’s claims. In my mind, I thought I had given her a very hard nut to crack but to my utmost consternation, she just simply smiled at me and said, ‘even if the Christmas celebration is borne out of paganism and the date isn’t exact, I can’t help but rejoice at the birth of my saviour.’
She said this with so much conviction, I could not help but cringe. I wondered why this was so special.
Seven years later, I know better. I love Jesus. I celebrate his love everyday even when it is not Christmas.
Christmas is celebrated world over in commemoration of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. For many, it is an opportunity to create some time-out with family and friends and have the best of fun. Indeed, it is a time to show love one to another and radiate the joy of the season. But to me, Christmas is deeper than that.
Each time I read Mathew 1:21, I am stunned at the depth of what Christmas portends. This Jesus has been brought forth and christened more than two millennia ago. But the real essence of Christmas is to ponder on the purpose of his birth: to SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.
Jesus has not saved me in my sin. No! He has saved me FROM my sin. He has not only forgiven me my sins, he has delivered me from the power of sin. Christmas affords me yet another opportunity to thank him for this great, undeserved love and ask for grace to live out the reality of the finished work of the cross.
Tim Ola Bamgboye@ Olabam’s blog
I celebrate Christmas because it’s a time of the year people go out of their way to spread cheer. Once the first green-red-gold decorations and tiny lights that blink intermittently go up in cities and towns, the world appears to be in an agreement to make the other person happy, even at a cost to self.
We are selfish by default; preoccupied with our interests and striving to make number one happy, but during Christmas, we go out of our way to send gifts to people around us: neighbours, family, and the less-privileged. We also make a conscious effort to evoke beauty through songs and decorations.
The ideal will be to have people spreading cheer and evoking beauty all year, but we are not there yet. Therefore, things that cause us to reach out to other people and try to be better versions of ourselves should be sought; if that means celebrating the birth of baby Jesus on a cold month, so be it.
IfeOluwa Nihinlola@ifeOluwa’s rambles
Growing up in the pastorium, Christmas used to be for me about gifts, new clothes, rice, chicken and the other stuffs. Since, I gained understanding of God’s love and received Him into my life, I have had to scratch deeper than the surface.
Now, I celebrate the love of God which prompted the provision of the solution to the world’s greatest problem- Sin. I celebrate the birth of a pursuer of purpose- a baby born to die. I celebrate the assurance of God’s continuous provision for my pursuit for if he gave me Christ Jesus, to set me free to live fully to die empty, what else would he not give me?
With my understanding of the purpose of Christmas, I am persuaded that I will be wrong to reduce my celebration of Christ’s birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension to seasons. As I grow deeper in my understanding of God’s love, I am challenged to celebrate Him every day, tell others about Him and his power to help them find meaning for their lives and unleash the beauty of God in them.
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