By Jack Glover
It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when we talk about joy, love, being kind to our fellowmen — all the things Christ taught. Perfect strangers wish us a merry Christmas (Cristes mæsse, literally, Christ’s mass), or happy holidays. Families travel miles to assemble with Moms, Dads, brothers, sisters, Grandpas, Grandmas and many other relatives.
We think about the poor and those who are lonely. We especially care about the happiness of children. We listen to some wonderful music and songs that bring good feelings. Special movies and TV shows fill the airways. It is a hectic yet wonderful time of the year, and it’s all because Christ told us to celebrate his birthday, right? Wrong.
What is wrong with remembering Christ on Dec. 25? Nothing — if we remember Him the same way the rest of the year. We should remember Christ, but we need to do it every day of the year, not just one special day.
Most would say, what is wrong with setting aside a special day to remember Christ, and especially the day of his birth? Nothing, if Christ had taught that He wanted people to do so, but he did not. Christ emphasized His death and our special observance of it on the first day of every week (Matt. 26:26-29, I Cor. 11:24-25, Acts 20:7).
The scriptures relate the story of Christ’s birth in Luke 2. That account includes no instructions to celebrate His birth or any teaching concerning the day of His birth. All conclusions that we can read today concerning His birthday are speculation; none are from the Bible or have a biblical basis.
The story of Christ’s birth is a beautiful account of the fulfillment of prophecy and the scheme of redemption that was in the mind of God from the beginning (Eph. 3:9, II Thess. 2:13-14). It is an account to be studied for the facts available there. It should never be minimized, but it contains no authority for the religious celebration of His birth. Christians must do all things by the authority of this very Christ (Matt. 28:19, Col. 3:17).
It is not acceptable for man to devise his own laws (Matt. 15:8-9). As beautiful as the story of the birth of Christ is, and as much as it seems good to man to celebrate it, there is no authority to do so. Christians must function by the authority of the One for whom they are named.
The many religious functions of Christmas fall into the category of those mentioned in Matt. 15:9 because they are the creations of man, not mentioned in the Bible. Man must not presume what God or His Son desires. Not celebrating the birth of Christ may seem ridiculous, foolish and harsh, or overly narrow-minded to some, but it is a path that must be followed if we are to serve God with authority.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. But I’m wondering why we only seem to think about these happy, kind greetings and concern for others during this limited time. Did not the One whose birthday many claim to celebrate teach that this was to be a way of life, every day. Check Matthew 5-6.
So I wish the best for all during this season, but more importantly my wish is for your obedience to the Christ during all seasons. Only that obedience will bring true happiness and the eternal reward (Heb. 5:8-9).