Friday, December 18, 2009

Creating Our Own Problems

I was a bit offended this week when some of my non-Christian friends started comparing Christmas to Solstice. I am passionate about my God, and I don't ever want anyone to assume that I am celebrating this season for any reason other than Him, but they're right. It's not non-Christians who have taken Jesus out of Christmas - it's the Christians.

Over the years I've been learning more and more about what the Bible says about things and what tradition says about them. I'm still studying, still learning, but December 25th was chosen to celebrate Jesus' birth BECAUSE it coincides with pagan holy days. The same is true about about Easter. These dates have nothing to do with Jesus and His life - my understanding is that they were selected to detract from the pagan rituals.

Now, you can say that this doesn't matter, but look at what these holidays have become. How many people, even non-Christians, are sick of the commercialism? Do parents take their kids to church on these days for photos at the nativity and cross, or to the mall to sit on the laps of two make-believe characters? Does going to church on these two days inspire you to attend more regularly, or does it make you feel satisfied that you made it twice that year?

Like I said, I'm still learning, so I'm still deciding what to do with all of this information. I do know that I'll tell my children the truth about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny - that they have nothing to do with God or the celebration of Jesus' love and sacrifice. But am I ready and willing to make the jump to celebrate the REAL days of birth and resurrection? Am I going to set myself apart and start following scripture, despite what the world does?

I honestly don't know.

What I do know, however, is that I want to learn more. I want to make sure my motives are pure, that my heart is focused on God. I don't want to follow blindly, just doing what I've always done because there ARE things that Christians do during the holidays that have no real Biblical significance. It was just a desire to fit in with the world, but to try to sanctify it by calling it "Christian".

So I don't have any answers right now, but I'm looking. In the meantime, please know this - all of my lights, my gifts, and my decorations are about one thing - God. He loves us, He always has. While people fail daily at demonstrating that to each other, He has never failed us. He sent Jesus as proof of that love and devotion to save us. THAT is why I celebrate Christmas.

I pray that each one of you will know God's love, that He will touch your hearts and eyes so that you can see Him today.


mindelei said...

I think in this situation, you can have your cake and eat it too. The celebration of these holidays has become a part of our culture. As such, you can celebrate these times by following the traditions as has been established over the years. In addition, you can also choose to celebrate the events as they are in the Bible as well. It's a win-win.

Karin said...

I understand that thought process, but it still doesn't settle right with me.

I mean Christianity and Paganism are complete opposites. As a nation we would never celebrate our independence day on a day that another country celebrates the forced slavery of its people.

And I can't imagine a woman telling her husband that she's going to start celebrating his birthday on the same day as the man who's been trying to ruin his life...and then give presents to family members instead of him (granted, my concern here isn't presents).

I don't know of any other religions that decided to forsake their TRUE holy days to make them coincide with another religion's holy days. As far as I know only Christianity has done that.

I don't see that as a mark of a strong faith - I see that as caving in to peer pressure. Like I said, I'm still trying to decide what to do with this info [as far as celebrations, not my faith :)]

Mommy of Three said...

You are correct in your research that the dates were chosen to help offset the pagan holidays. We have become much more aware of what we do and why we do it now that we have kids to teach. We now do a birthday cake at Christmas that says "Happy birthday, Jesus." Since no one really knows the actual date of Jesus' birth or even of his resurrection, we will celebrate it on the designated days, but we really try to keep everything focused on the real reason behind the day. We're not at all fond of the Easter bunny, but we let the kids to easter egg hunts, because it's not fair to not let them participate with all of their friends, when they are too young to understand it all. Right now it's just a fun event to them. I HATE halloween and absolutely will NOT decorate for it, but our kids love to dress up and get candy (of course), so we let them go tot the homes of friends we know and we keep it at that.

I really wish people would educate themselves on it all. Most Christians have no idea the reason behind most of our Christmas traditions. Or Easter, for that matter.