Today I want to talk about the celebration of Christmas. First, I will begin with a story.
Imagine this scenario: You are a renowned philosopher. Your teachings have been written down and have reached the entire world. Your philosophy is one of care and concern for others and obedience to a moral code of personal conduct. The time comes one day when you take a sabbatical to a remote location. You are isolated from everything and everybody, but you tell your followers you will return.
Much later, when you do return, you notice something bizarre has happened. You were gone, but never forgotten. In fact, you have become a cultural icon with millions of ardent followers. Your book is the best-selling book in the world. Strangely, even though your philosophy has permeated the entire world, the central teaching of it is all but forgotten. And very few people have actually read your book!
Everyone is focused on you and what you have done, but not on your message. The biggest annual celebration for you is something they invented long after you left—a huge birthday party with lavish festivities, exchanging gifts, and selling and displaying your likeness as a baby. The problem is, you never told them to do this; in fact, they even have the wrong month of your birth!
What are you to think?!
This short story, while it is fiction, is actually based, I’m sad to say, on someone very real—the Lord Jesus Christ. Millions claim to worship and adore the little baby Jesus during the celebration of Christmas, but it’s a day that His disciples never kept and a date that is not even mentioned in the Bible.
Scholars say that, based on the biblical description of His birth, Dec. 25 isn’t even close to the time that Jesus was born. Those who came to visit the young Messiah brought gifts to Him. Why? Because He was a king. That was the custom of the day. They didn’t give gifts to each other. That would have been an insult to Jesus, the King of kings.
Today most people celebrating Christmas profess to follow Christ, but they ignore the message He brought. Jesus and His true disciples focused on a coming kingdom, the Kingdom of God. They celebrated holy days—God’s holy days—not the thinly veiled profane holidays of ancient Rome. To this day, God’s yearly pattern of holy days clearly paints a vivid picture of the Lord, His sacrifice and His future rulership as the King of kings.
Christmas, on the other hand, is a picture of self-indulgence without any spiritual purpose sanctioned by Scripture. Some desperately campaign to “put Christ back in Christmas”—but He was never there in the first place! His philosophy of love for God and love for fellow man has been discarded for a counterfeit philosophy of greed and consumption. It is reported that U.S retailers sold an amazing $469 billion (that’s billion!) of goods during the 2011 Christmas season. Are we a happier, more righteous country with less crime and brutality because of it? I think not.
Now contrast this false holiday with the true biblical holy days that are sanctioned by God and were observed by the New Testament Church. God’s holy days teach His people how to live an abundant life—a life of joyful anticipation of the return of the Messiah.
Isn’t it time that you opened the world’s best seller, the Bible? Yes, open your Bible and start learning the true philosophy of life straight from the Master Philosopher and Creator of all life—the Lord Jesus Christ.
For Life, Hope & Truth, I am Britton Taylor.