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Christmas Time

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December 21, 2017 (Thursday) - Next Sunday is Christmas Eve. So the countdown to Christmas day is on. Today, the number is 4. Four days until Christmas? No, Christmas has become more than a day, hasn't it? It's a season. It must await its turn behind Halloween Season and Thanksgiving Season, but it finally arrives. .

We are always concerned for our economy. When it's good, it's very good, and when it's bad, it's horrid, just like "the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead." We understand why businesses concern themselves with marketing at Christmas, because so much of their survival and progress depends on the success of sales during this season.

Many Christians, however, have a different idea. They insist that Jesus is "The Reason for the Season." As time goes on, however, society at large observes and emphasizes a generic "Holiday Season."

Of course, there are some Christians who believe observing a special day to honor the birthday of Jesus is wrong in itself. When I was pastor in Dallas, one day at our pastor's conference a pastor gave a speech on the subject, stating that he and his family had stopped observing Christmas. He stated his reasons for this. Primarily his reasons had to do with pagan origins of Christmas customs and the absence of a scripture verse commanding us to have such a special day. This is a prime example of where our legalism and literalism leads us if we have a "head religion" and leave out the heart. A discussion of this entire subject demands much more space than I have here.

Some conscientious Christians struggle with the question, "Should I observe Christmas?" Personally, I think the answer is "yes," but it is up to us to make our own Christmas a celebration of God's love in sending His only begotten Son, who became a human being, showed us how to live, died for each one of us, rose from the dead and made possible our eternal salvation. As Jesus put it, he came "to seek and to save that which was lost."

Even though we can find no specific command in the Bible to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our gratitude for God's love explodes within us and demands celebration. The firm entrenchment of the Christmas season in Western culture offers us this opportunity. We must know, however, that Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Christ is uniquely a Christian observance, and the world out there will leave Christ out of the "winter holidays." No surprise there; it's been that way for a long time.


TODAY'S BLOG IS AN EDITED REPEAT OF MY DECEMBER 17, 2007 BLOG.

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