For those of us who are Christians, Christmas is a special time of year. It is of course a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy a meal, reminess on good times past and look forward to better times ahead. But for us who truly love the Lord, it affords us an opportunity to reflect on the birth of our Savior. Then through that reflection realize that it is not the Christian tradition that brings joy to our hearts, it is the living Christ dwelling in our hearts that is the source of our joy.
There is no need for me to decry the celebration of Christmas because of the unquestionable use of symbols that have their roots in paganism. Any causual student of Christian history knows that there is no Scriptual foundation for the celebration itself or for the use of these symbols, There is no need for me to rail on the commercialization of Christmas. We all know that secularism has been at work for decades to turn men's hearts from Christ to "cash", and for the most part they have succeeded. There is no need for me to remind you that the "celebration" of Christmas is under attack as being unconstitutional, politically incorrect, and religiously intrusive upon those who do not embrace God or Christianity. You already know these things. To continually dwell on them serves only to divert our attention once again away from Christ and onto the cause and symptoms, rather than the cure Himself. As much as possible we need to adopt the same attitude as Paul when he found himself in bonds and mocked by many about him. Php 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: Php 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds. Php 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.Php 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me." That is our work as Christians. And what better time to do it than when all the world (whatever their motives) are at least aware of the "reason for the season". We can't undo history. We can't remove the greed that motivates men to sell Christ for thirty pieces of silver. We can't spend all of our time in debate with those who are so enraged at the goodness of Christ that they "knash on him with their teeth". Remember, Jesus said that if those we encounter will not receive us because of Him, we are simply to knock the dust off of our feet (a sign that God will judge them) and move on down the road with our message of "exaulting Christ".
So...... don't be distracted by all the shiny objects surrounding Christmas, the endless commercialization, or the "fool who has said in his heart there is no God". Keep your eyes on Jesus, let your joy be full, and when opportunity presents itself, lift Him high so all can see HIM.
My name is Daniel (Danny) Chandler and I am the Pastor of Sulphur Fork Missionary Baptist Church in Sumner Co. TN.