Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus? It’s not found in the Bible. Besides, most people know Jesus wasn’t actually born in December. These are worthy questions. There are many wonderful reasons, however, to celebrate this special time of the year.
One reason Christmas began to be celebrated was to address heresy in the church. Several hundred years after Jesus returned to Heaven, a particular false teaching was prominent. It diminished the humanity of Jesus and focused only on His divine nature. To promote the theological understanding that Christ was fully God and fully man, His birth began to be celebrated.
Another reason Christmas began has to do with contextualization. Those coming to faith in Christ needed to stop some of their pagan celebrations. This left a hole in their lives and culture. To fill that, a new meaning to the festival was given. It is common for missionaries to transform ungodly cultural practices and give them a new and redemptive meaning. For those coming from non-Christian backgrounds, having a special festival meets a natural human need within us personally and in our communities. It is important to celebrate and have fun!
Whatever the reasons behind it’s beginning, for centuries Christmas has been an important part of the church calendar. Advent is a meaningful time of reflection, prayer and drawing near to Christ.
An Opportunity to Give Gifts of Love
In my family, it has always been an amazing time to enjoy being together and doing special things. Taking time to give meaningful gifts and express love to one another is truly important. Christmas gives us that opportunity.
Evangelism and Outreach
It also has become my favorite time of the year to do evangelism. There are many open doors at Christmas time to share with those who are curious about the true meaning behind all the Christmas trees, lights and Santa suits.
I pray this season and the coming days of festivity will bring you much joy and a beautiful opportunity to reflect on this wondrous truth. Jesus came as a baby, fully dependant on His parents and fully human. He came, lived, died, and rose again. Oh, what a Savior!
Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.