14 Mar CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS
Christmas is the most important festival in the Christian calendar and the way we celebrate it may indicate our attitude to it.
There seem to be three main attitudes among Christians towards Christmas. The first is what I would call “non-celebration”, which is adopted by members of some extreme evangelical groups. “Why celebrate Christmas”, they ask; or some say “every day is Christmas for me!”; some even reason “since we do not know the real date of Christmas why
The real way to celebrate Christmas is reverentially and with joy. We celebrate the coming of God’s son into this world over 2000 years ago and look forward to his second coming. We should re-read the nativity story in Luke chapter 2 as a family each Christmas and evaluate what it means to us today.
Thirty-four Christmases ago as I held my baby son in my arms I suddenly realized that was what the miracle of Christmas was. God came as a helpless baby, trusting himself to the fallen humans to care for him and protect him. The creator of the universe (Col. 1: 16-17) came as the most helpless thing on earth – a human baby!! The wonder of this great event, this most wonderful divine accomplishment should fill us with awe and praise.
Let us re-look at our attitudes to Christmas. Celebrations are not wrong, but they should not loom so large that they hide the real meaning of Christmas.
As someone succinctly said:
The meaning of the season is “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”.
Since the emphasis is on God’s love and giving, that should be our attitude to this season. We should consider giving to those in need, giving love to the unloved, giving time to the lonely, giving care to those who need help. One year we invited some poor children to share our Christmas lunch. What other ways can we be involved? Only then will the promise of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to all men” be realized.
Do you know the story of the fourth wise man? He started out at the same time after seeing the star to meet the other three wise men with his gift of three precious jewels for the baby King of the Jews.
Dr Peter S C Pothan lives in Bangalore with his wife, children and grandchildren and has been involved in UESI since 1971.