I love the holidays. I love the decorations, the shopping, the music – I love it all! It really is, in my humble opinion, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! (If you don’t have Andy Williams’ version of that song playing around the house, check it out.)
However, I also know this time of year can be a time of differing opinions. There are those who do not like to connect this time of year with the birth of Jesus – for good reasons. Then there is the “Jesus is the reason for the season” contingent. I appreciate the desire to avoid adding to Scripture of the former, as well as the desire to focus on Christ of the latter.
So, since you asked, here’s my two cents on the matter. God’s word doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born – probably for this very reason. If we knew for sure, it would probably turn into a day revered more than the one to whom the honor should be given. For that reason, I’m not going to celebrate Christmas as “Jesus’ birthday.” We just don’t know. But, here’s what I will celebrate: I’ll celebrate the fact that so many people throughout the world who don’t usually have time for Jesus think about Him a little bit in December. I’ll celebrate the fact that TV shows can actually mention Jesus’ name in a proper way for a month or so. Of course, I’ll celebrate the time I can spend with Kara and the kids doing all the Christmas-y things we love to do…and I would encourage you to do the same. But, let me also encourage you – whichever side of the manger you’re on – to look for and listen for opportunities to share your faith at this time of year. We’re given a window now (and maybe at Easter) to discuss Jesus with people!
I guess I left out one celebration. I’ll celebrate the gifts! Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? But, it’s fun to give them too, isn’t it? So, also celebrate the gifts. However, don’t neglect to celebrate two in particular. First, celebrate that God has provided us with open doors to share the great message of His son. Secondly, celebrate that message. Remember, it’s not about the specific date Jesus came to this filthy world of ours – it’s about the fact that He did it at all! Celebrate our Savior. Not just His birth, but celebrate His life, His example, His teaching, His death, and His resurrection. And, don’t just celebrate in December. Celebrate our Redeemer every day!