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Why Do Christians Celebrate Christmas?

December 05 2018
December 05 2018

If you crack open your Bible, you’ll notice a myriad of holidays and festivals. This is especially true if you turn to the Old Testament. But if you keep going, you’ll notice less and less of them as you approach of the New Testament. Even most of these are references to Jewish holidays that were still being celebrated, such as Pentecost rather than descriptions of holidays that Christians would go on to celebrate. One thing’s for sure – you won’t find any mention of our Christmas celebrations.

So why do we celebrate Christmas?

1. We all need a pause to reflect – Our lives are busy, busy, busy, aren’t they? It can be tough to find time to break away and reflect on what matters. This is where Christmas and the Advent season that precedes it come in. Nothing could be more worthy of our reflection than the fact that God came for us. When Jesus was born in that manger, God became a human being to come to our rescue. We celebrate Christmas as a chance to break away and reflect on what matters.

2. An opportunity for generosity – I get it – you won’t find an elaborate, gift-giving, winter holiday in the Bible. American consumerism influences Christianity in ways we should all notice. But even with that warning, Christmas is an opportunity for us to follow Jesus better. The Bible is the story of a gift: God gave us his Son. Thus, it’s no accident that Christmas celebrations often come with giving. We give gifts to families and loved ones. We collect gifts for our community at the church. We collect for the mercy fund to bless our members and neighbors year-round. Christians are called to be generous at all times, but Christmas is an opportunity to refocus and step up our game. It’s a chance to practice radical generosity, just as our Father did when he gave us his Son.

3. Our neighbors are more receptive – We don’t live in a Christian culture in the West. Most of us can probably think of ways that Christianity is less publicly acceptable now than it was in the past. But it’s different this time of year, isn’t it? What other time of year do you hear so many songs about Jesus in public places? People who don’t go to church are most likely to accept our invitation on Christmas and Easter. So, one of the reasons we celebrate Christmas is to put the message of Jesus before our neighbors, who are more receptive this time of year than others.

Those are three reasons I can think of that make Christmas worth celebrating. Can you think of others? How does celebrating the birth of Jesus fortify your faith?


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