“We Do Not Celebrate Christmas Because . . .”

Every year I hear these these words or some variation of them. The surprising thing is that it comes from Christians rather than Non-Christians. Sometimes what they mean is that they do not indulge in gluttony and drunkenness. Sometimes they descry the commercialism. Sometimes they attribute Christmas to pagan traditions. Sometimes they say that Jesus was not born at this time of year. All these reasons have some degree of validity but the statement begs the question – “If you really believe Jesus was your Saviour why do you not want to celebrate His birth?” Such an attitude must bewilder other Christians and non-Christians alike. It seems to me that the Christians from a low church tradition have problem with the concept of celebration. In part this is a reaction to the high church practice of calling priests ‘celebrants’ of Holy Communion/Mass therefore all forms of celebration tend to be treated with suspicion if not downright hostility. Under Cromwell when Puritanism held sway celebrating Christmas was forbidden. It was done in such an oppressive manner that the hitherto unpopular Stewart monarchy seemed not so bad after all and was eventually restored to the throne after Cromwell’s death. An historical lesson which Christians should remember when they would like to impose their beliefs and values on an unbelieving majority.
Instead of trying to find fault in how other people celebrate Christmas, should we not try to celebrate it properly. Matthew’s Gospel says that the Magi “worshipped Him,” so should we. Luke says that the shepherds were “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen,” so should we. If you are wondering why Matthew did not mention the shepherds it was because shepherds were despised in Israel in Jesus’ day and Matthew’s Gospel was written with a Jewish readership in mind. Though it is ironic a former tax-collector thought that shepherds were too untrustworthy to be included in his Gospel.
David Rose, 2014.

About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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