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Monday, 9 December 2013

Put Christ back into Christmas?

This is a familiar theme within Christian circles during the month of December but is it a fair demand? 
As a Christian now for over 40 years Christmas has been for me a time of great confusion. I love the brightness it brings in dark days and the magic that it is for children. But is Christmas as we know it compatible with biblical Christianity? I know that many believe that there are great gospel opportunities at this time of the year but does that really justify bringing Christ into the season?

This time of the year can be so depressing especially for those who suffer from the wretched vitamin D deficiency. There is simply not enough natural sunlight to prevent the onset of winter blues for sufferers. Our fore-fathers must have felt much the same as they observed the time when the sun is at it's lowest point in the sky which results in the days of least daylight. There was of course some religious overtones to what they were doing when they decided to celebrate the fact that things will get better in the months to come. They instituted a winter solstice celebration to which early Christians tagged the birth of Christ.

The reality is that Christ was never in the season and so can we honestly put Him back into it???

My dilemma does not end there because I do not believe that we should add Christ into our celebrations! They seem to be diametrically opposed to the Incarnation of Jesus Christ who is God the Son. He condescended to come into the world in order to deal with the sin of all whom He chooses to be His people.
That is a massive difference to a man dressed in a coca cola red gown who is a mythical figure that brings gifts to good children. On the other hand Jesus is God's Good gift to desperately evil people. The two characters could not be different!

Now before you label me as the archetypal  party pooper and Bah humbug misery guts. I have to nail my colours to the mast and tell you that I love the season and was pleased when Birmingham City Council a number of years declared it to be WINTERVAL rather than Christmas.  There is an honesty in what they did that maybe the church would do well to consider.

I hope that by my "coming out" I am not losing good Christian friends. I do not wish to step on evangelical toes but would challenge you as to why we try so hard to make something out of a season when our whole nation would rather believe in Santa (an anagram for Satan!!!)  than consider Jesus Christ.

But you might say when do we celebrate the birth of Christ? 

My answer to that must be in line with what the bible declares. We are to celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ CONSTANTLY! The incarnation separated from the life, death and resurrection of the Man Christ Jesus is not biblical and so is heresy, as is simply celebrating any other aspect of the coming of Messiah in isolation. From before the foundation of the world God purposed that Christ would come to deal with sin and so we as Christians celebrate His coming, His living, His dying, His rising and His ascending every single day. This means that Wizzard when they sang I wish it could be Christmas every day were closer to the truth than they have ever been given credit for.

Now that I am simply a coffee shop manager and no longer a Pastor of the church I have found the freedom to consider where I stand in this matter and so I will celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December as I do every other day and I will also join with the rest of society in celebrating the return of the sun into the Northern hemisphere.

As I type this up I am sitting in the flat with lovely decorations all around which tell the story of the winter equinox but in my heart is the absolute truth that Jesus came into the world 2000 years ago and by His life, death and resurrection He has secured salvation for this old Looe-Nattic!

A very happy, merry new to you all and also for any that stumble across these ramblings who are not truly celebrating Jesus Christ then please read the gospels and ask God to show you the deep truths contained within.


Archie Gray said...

Great read Pete, thank you

Peter Thatcher said...

Thanks Archie, glad that you found my ramblings of interest