Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Really Matters

Have you noticed some division among Christians regarding Christmas? Some strongly oppose celebrating Christmas because of its pagan roots. Others try hard to keep Christ in Christmas. And then there are those who incorporate more and more worldly stuff in their Christmas celebration. In my opinion, just because something has pagan roots...this does not automatically make it pagan. I think the early Church succeeded at replacing Roman pagan traditions with the celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas. Why do I say that? Well, how many people really remember or even know that Christmas started out as a pagan festival? Billions of people in the world know (even if they don't really have the right focus) that Christmas is about Christ. Four names of our days of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) are named for Viking gods. We don't stop using these names just because they have pagan roots. To me, each day is a gift from God. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) It's how we spend our day that matters...honoring/ pleasing God or dishonoring/sinning against God. That goes the same for what we do with Christmas (another day that the Lord has made).  I personally believe in celebrating/honoring Christ daily by the way we live.

In Thailand, Christmas provides a great opportunity for Christians to share with non-Christians about Christ. (In fact, I myself came to know Christ and received the free gift of salvation during Christmastime of 1985 in Thailand.) I believe that's what many churches in America are also trying to do. If people are saved because of the Gospel being boldly shared during Christmastime, then we should rejoice. God can certainly use any events, including holidays that have pagan roots, for His glory. Christ's birth is the beginning of the ultimate love story that never ends (John 3:16). If at Christmastime, people tend to share Christ's love more and talk more openly about why Christ came, then we should be glad and encourage them so...and hopefully, they will carry on sharing Christ's love and the Gospel throughout the year (you can see some ideas from my post titled, "Christmas According to Scrooge").

All these thoughts led me to write the following poem last year.

It doesn't matter if you do or don't celebrate Christmas
What really matters is that you believe in Jesus
It doesn't matter if Dec. 25th is not Christ's actual birthday
What really matters is that He was born to save us from a debt we cannot pay
It doesn't matter if you don't trim a tree
What really matters is that you know & worship the Son who sets you free
It doesn't matter if you don't give gifts to one another
What really matters is that you give your heart and your life to our Savior...our Redeemer
It doesn't matter if you don't hang up any lights
What really matters is that you follow the Light of the World day and night
It doesn't matter if you don't get to go caroling
What really matters is that unto the Lord you joyfully sing
It doesn't matter what eloquent words you write on Christmas cards
What really matters is that you spread the Good News at every chance
It doesn't matter if you bake the best or the most cookies
What really matters is that you help the needy and feed the hungry

I recommend two insightful articles:
- "Is Christmas Christian?" by Hank Hanegraaff, the President of the Christian Research Institute
- "The Origin of Christmas" by Bodie Hodge, Answers in Genesis.

~Please visit here for the links to other Spiritual Sundays posts. Thanks so much to Charlotte and Ginger for hosting Spiritual Sundays every week. Have a blessed day in the Lord, everyone!


Apron Senorita said...

There are so many different types of celebrations and understandings of the holidays. Cultural differences have a big impact on how things are celebrated. The good thing is that Jesus Christ came to save us all.

God Bless You!

Ginger said...

What a powerful post today. I agree with what Yoli said about different cultures. Who knows maybe this is a time of year when some non believers try to understand Jesus, and come to a better understanding. Like you did at this time of year, except him in their life's.
God Bless,

Charlotte said...

I couldn't agree more. Thank you for sharing these thought provoking words.

Denise said...

Thanks for speaking the truth.

daylily777 said...

A wonderful Post. People through the ages have always celebrated feast days , it helped to bring joy & motivation to their lives& seems to be a need in our human nature . We, as Christians have more reason to celebrate than the world does . I think it is good to turn our seasonal celebrations to celebrating our Lord and pointing the world to him .
Merry Christmas !

bigguysmama said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! Thank you for briefly sharing your own personal experience during this time!

Merry CHRISTmas,

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