Through a quick survey of history.com, and google.com, I learned a few things about December 25, that may surprise you:
1) It was 336 A.D. before it was identified as a Christian holiday, and the particular date was chosen not because it most likely coincided with the birthday of Jesus Christ, but because the pagans (people who did not serve or believe in the one true God) were honoring their pagan gods. It gives me the creeps just to write that even with a lowercase “g.” They were involved in celebrating Saturn and Mirtha.
Reportedly, promoting that date as the day to celebrate the birthday of Christ made it easier to convince Romans (many who were pagan) to participate in Christianity, the empire’s official religion.
Is that of the world and flesh, or spirit and truth?
Now I do not mean to be a downer, and please read all the way through to understand that. Bear with me, and allow me to be direct. In the end you will see that I am not at all downing Christmas….
2) It was actually 1870 before the United States of America declared December 25th as a federal holiday. Up to that date, the customs and traditions surrounding this date were comparatively non-existent or vastly dissimilar to what we see today.
3) The Christmas tree tradition likely evolved from another pagan custom, which was bringing ever green branches indoors as a reminder that spring was on its way, and would indeed come.
As a Christian, I am not only interested in history of a holiday so widely and diversely celebrated by Christians, but I am also interested in Bible perspective.
The gospel of Luke and Bible accounts of the birth of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ, both New Testament, and Old Testament (prophesies) deserve to be highlighted in December and all year round, so I personally am not opposed to the Christmas that our contemporary culture participates in (pageants, carols, all pointing to the blessing of our savior), yet there were some things that I wanted to check on.
Is it OK to have a Christmas tree in your house?
Well as with many things in life, you have to decide this for yourself. In my Bible exploration on the point I did find these scriptures as noteworthy:
Deuteronomy 16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee.
Leviticus 23:40 …branches…trees…rejoice…
2 Timothy 6:17 … living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN your adult child marries and his/her spouse does not want to carry on traditions that your family formerly enjoyed?
I am not going to give my carefully thought out eloquent answer, but instead share scripture that I look to for guidance:
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Decisions for a family serving Christ are less about what any individual desires or prefers and more about what will accomplish the greater PEACE. Representing Christ, may others see our witness that we are ambassadors, and promote PEACE, the light of Christ on December 25th and always.
Above dearly held traditions,
Glorify the Savior by honoring our Father’s Word,
and putting greater PEACE as our goal, above self.
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…
All through December and the New Year, and always, be blessed however you live this season. May the world see that Christians are a loving and a joyful people.
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