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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16

The Battle Between Christmas and the Birthday of Jesus

Most may be busy shopping for the giving of gifts for this coming weekend, but have you ever wondered if Christmas Day is the actual birthday of Jesus? While most christians commemorate the birth of Jesus on December 25, it may come as a shocking news to many that December 25 is not the actual birthday of Jesus. Even Wikipedia collaborated with this fact. Below is an excerpt with emphasis.

"Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is NOT known to be the actual birthday of Jesus…"

So, while Christmas is generally observed on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, there is nothing magical about the day in itself. In other words, take away the "fact" that December 25 is the actual birthday of Jesus, there is simply no way one could turn December 25 into a special holier day than any other days, no matter how good one's theology may be. For this reason, some chooses not to celebrate Christmas since no one knows for sure which day is the actual birthday of Christmas. I hold a different perspective towards Christmas though, as will be shown below.

While we have established the fact that December 25 is not the actual birthday of Jesus, I submit that the spirit behind celebrating Christmas, that is to commemorate the birth of Jesus, in itself is not wrong. Is there any strong theological ground to frown on commemorating the birth of Jesus? I haven't come across any. So there is nothing to suggest that it is inherently and morally wrong to commemorate the birth of Jesus by celebrating Christmas, anymore than celebrating our spouses' birthdays. And we sometimes do celebrate our family member's birthday on the non-actual birthday, as it is more convenient to do so probably because the actual birthday falls on a busy work schedule.

With no surprises, in an increasing trend Christmas is becoming a public holiday where even non-christians are celebrating, though they may not commemorate the birth of Jesus. This is the time when most people get a day off or two to retire from their busy work routine, and to be with their loved ones and friends. This time to rest, affords them to slow down their pace and rethink about their lives and the meanings behind them. This is also a time where songs and hymns about Christ could be sung openly in the public. So the celebration of Christmas is best seen to be God's common grace towards all mankind, in my humble opinion. Granted that while there can and have been abuses when consumerism takes the throne, because humanity is fallen, this in itself does not negate the best view that Christmas is God's common grace towards fallen humanity.

Nevertheless, christians and non-christians alike need to fight against the human weakness to regard December 25 as a special holy day and to always remember that we should commemorate the birth of Jesus every single day, and not just only on Christmas Day. In fact, we are supposed to commemorate as frequently as possible, His death, resurrection and second coming, besides his birth. And for those who see Christmas as an opportunity for increased evangelistic efforts, we need to remind ourselves that "today" is always the day of opportunity.

May you then be greatly enriched by the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus as you ponder about Him in this festive season, and looking forward to His second coming. Here wishing you a wondrous Merry Christmas, a joyous New Year and every blessings in Christ!

1 comments:

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