December 2022

Christmas is upon us and we will soon be celebrating the birth of Jesus!
Some people say that “true” Christians would never celebrate the birth of the Savior because the
scripture doesn’t command us to remember it, as we are told to do with Christ’s death. Luke 22:19
records Jesus’ instructions to celebrate the Lord’s supper: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” But the
Bible bears no such instruction concerning His birth. So it must be wrong . . . right?
I couldn’t disagree more. One of the things I most love about being a Christ-follower is that Jesus
taught that the Kingdom of Heaven was about celebrating! Jesus continually got in trouble with the
religious snobs who didn’t care for His habit of partying with sinners—who then turned into
Christ-honoring disciples!
And Christmas, at its core, is a holy celebration of the most astounding thing that ever happened
on Planet Earth—God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Yes, there are parts of Christmas that
are linked with pagan traditions. But God knows how to tell the difference, and by using our
discernment skills, we can too. That’s one way we can love Him with our minds (Luke 10:27), which
is part of the greatest commandment.
As the Christmas season ramps up, we are inundated with Christmas music. The usual songs are nice
and catchy but I love to glory in the gorgeous theology expressed in Christmas carols like no other
songs. I still get chills when hearing my car radio proclaim, for example, the deep truths in
“Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”:
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
The cheery Christmas lights in our neighborhood remind me that Jesus came as the light of the world, and I celebrate. The Christmas gifts we give each other point to God’s great gift of
salvation through His Son, and I celebrate.
But can we celebrate Christmas wrongly? Is it even wrong to celebrate Christmas in the first
It always, always comes down to the heart, to our motives.
Is God honored by how we celebrate His Son’s birth in our hearts? When music or lights move us to a
place of worship smack dab in the middle of our days, does that glorify Him? Of course it does!
On the other hand, if we are stressed by the compulsion to make our families look picture perfect
on social media . . . if we have to go into debt to buy Christmas gifts we can’t afford . . . if
we’re continually snarling and complaining at all the holiday- related traffic and social demands,
does that glorify Him? Nope. That’s not celebrating Jesus’ birthday and it’s not honoring Him.
It all comes down to motive.
It’s not wrong to celebrate Christmas, but it’s possible to celebrate it wrongly. Here’s hoping you
stay focused on Jesus. Merry Christmas! Pastor J.R.