13 December 2006

All those Christmas thoughts in one fruit cake…

“Do we have to celebrate Christmas?” someone asked the other day.
No.
Even as Christians, we don’t have to celebrate Christmas?
No. The shepherds and the angels and the wise men did, though (although not in December, and the wise men weren’t there for about another two years). Other than that, Christmas is not in the Bible, nor was it celebrated by the early church. I guess meeting in catacombs (i.e. tombs) was not conducive to trees and presents and pies.
But Jesus is the reason for the season!
Technically, the Christmas we celebrate was adopted from a pagan winter solstice festival. The tree came from the Druids. Seriously. The cool thing is that Christians saw this as an opportunity to point to the kingdom of God.
So, no, we don’t have to celebrate the Christmas season.
But, for me, it’s a time to remember the God who did not spare His own Son because of His love for us, the God who executed a tough but wonderful plan in order to bring His Son greater glory. It’s a time to remember the Son, who humbled Himself by becoming a man. Kafka’s roach’s got nothing on Him. And more than that, the Advent season is a time of preparation, of anticipation of the second coming, of the time that the Kingdom of God will be fully realized, when peace on earth and goodwill toward men will reign, when evil and tears and pain will be wiped out.
Now don't get me wrong. I love the Christmas season, both for the advent reminder and the family time and all the traditions we've built. I love the carols and the lights and the decorations and the baking, and yes, I love the presents, the giving and the getting. (Let's leave the materialism rant for another day. Presents don't always mean HDTV's and XBox360's and diamonds. Sometimes presents are homemade fudge. Okay, so maybe I ranted just a little.) I didn't say we weren't allowed to celebrate Christmas. We just don't have to.
Prepare ye the way…

7 comments:

Willowtree said...

As you correctly point out, God came quite late to Christmas, in fact the Christians hijacked a centuries old Yuletide celebration which marked the Winter Solstice. So it somewhat galls me when people complain about us losing focus on Christ at this time of year.

Erin said...

Makes me smile that you have only one comment here so far. And what a comment it is! :) Willowtree actually made me rethink why Christians riot over losing Christ from Christmas. But you know, I'm a Christian, so I don't really have a problem with it.
God created it all. He owns it all. He ought to be invited to what He created.
As you said, prepare ye the way.

Thinking such deep, heady thoughts around the festive holidays seems so, well, deep and heady. And, dare I say, monkish? But as I go through the motions of gift shopping, decorating, baking the cookies, etc. my thoughts are totally elsewhere.

Like the pre-Creation moments (or millenia, take your pick) when the Trinity discussed what was to be done about the future and fate of Creation and all of mankind. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for THAT one!

Or to be in the manger, as the Creator (now veiled in the flesh of a human infant), looking into the face of your mother -the girl YOU created. Placing Yourself and Your diety into her care for mortal life. My brain is beginning to hurt. I just can't grasp it.

But I'm worshipping.

Pamela said...

The best card so far I've received (I'm lucky I get any at all, because I do not reciprocate)

God knew we could never buy our way to Him-- the cost was too great.

We could never earn our way to Him- the tast was too great.

We could never will our way to Him --the commitment was too great.

God knew we could never come to Him....so He came to Us!

Pamela said...

the task ..

I should have previewed. Sorry

L.L. Barkat said...

I love celebrating Christmas...

for my children, it's a focusing time. We only get them one present each and a present together... they are most excited by Christmas eve, when we read the bible together and then drink a creamy drink and eat a rich dessert to say, "Jesus, you are my milk and honey."

Erin said...

barkat,

"we read the bible together and then drink a creamy drink and eat a rich dessert to say, "Jesus, you are my milk and honey."


I LIKE THAT!!! Might have myself a new family worship tradition.

Gina said...

I wish the Christmas Season was longer and filled less with doing. I've already tried to do less this year and it's been good for my soul.