As we go forward in our journey, I plead for balance in our view of things and charity toward all. This is my plea regarding Christmas, too.
There are some who have an Ebenezer Scrooge bah-humbug attitude about it. They are entirely negative about Christmas and just wish it would go away. They remind us that it is too commercial and that people spend money they don’t have to buy gifts for people who really don’t need them. They like to point to Christmas parties where passions go unchecked.
Others see Christmas as a "high" religious holiday. They ask us to be sure to "keep Christ in Christmas."
To be fair, we must admit that Christmas is of purely human origin. There are several things said and portrayed about Christmas and the birth of Christ that cannot be sustained from the Bible. For instance, we do not know exactly when Christ was born. It was almost certainly not on December 25. Since the shepherds were in the fields tending their flocks (Luke 2:8-16), it was probably in the Spring of the year when lambs were being born. Though we talk about the three Wise Men, we really don’t know how many there were, because the Bible doesn’t say. Furthermore, they didn’t visit the baby Jesus in the stable, though that is how every nativity scene I have ever see shows it. They visited Him sometime later (maybe as much as two years later) when He was already in a house (Matt. 2:11).
Because of the things said about Christmas that cannot be substantiated from Scripture, some people have a sort of knee-jerk reaction to the whole deal. They don’t believe it should be observed in any way, or at least with no attention given to the birth of Christ.
What is the answer?
I am somewhere in the middle of all the views about Christmas. Personally, I believe the middle of the road is to be desired over the ditch on either side.
As a preacher, I am careful not to say anything about Christmas and the birth of Christ that I can’t read in the Scriptures. But, I still love Christmas. I believe there is much to commend it.
I appreciate the friendliness and general good will that demonstrates itself in cheerful greetings. I like the bright lights and the music that fills the air. I am thankful for the opportunity to be with friends and family. I even like the giving and receiving of gifts, although the older I get the more I enjoy the giving. By the way, I believe Jesus said something about that (Acts 20:35).
Additionally, I am thankful that people turn their attention during this season to that Babe who was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger—although I wish they would do so more than just once a year.
I encourage all of us to take full advantage of every opportunities to speak openly of Him. That Baby grew to manhood, gave His life for all of us on the cross, was buried and raised from the dead, and is coming again. May that message spread around the world. It is our hope!
Oh, and by the way. Merry Christmas.