The phrase, the True Meaning of Christmas, has long been a staple theme in the media during the Holiday season. While movies like The Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life are replayed over and over during this time of the year, the meaning of Christmas is subverted, with family reunions and our benevolent nature taking precedence.
The first Christmas was literally a pagan festival honouring the Roman and Persian gods of the fourth century. In attempts of securing the same date as a pre-existing holiday, Christmas was celebrated on the same day as these festivals. And when that happens there is bound to be a mixture of cultures and traditions coming in from the pagan festival into this new Christmas festival. But that trend has continued and even today when a new culture adopts Christ as the Saviour and wants to celebrate His birthday, they bring in their former traditions and rituals into the mix. Christmas has become a melting pot of all the traditions and rituals its observers have brought to the table.
The culture that has been widely adopted to represent Christmas has been the one coming from the late nineteenth century western world. Because of commercialisation and capitalism, the businesses have sought to maximise their profits during this season and have themselves started new traditions that will help them achieve their targets. The Christmas tree, snow and reindeers do not have any historical significance to the birth of Christ but its the capitalist machine that has propagated this tradition. Because Christmas is a combination of all these traditions, it has also been divorced from Christ and represents something totally different today. Children all over the world recognise Santa Claus but have no knowledge of Jesus. Their parents strive to keep the magic of Christmas alive by lying to them about Santa but do not impart the true meaning of Christmas.
Santa Over Jesus
Anything that distracts us from God and diverts our attention to something else is from satan. The world hates Christ but admires Santa Claus. No wonder Santa is an anagram for satan, as it has been the perfect distraction for the world. It was grace and kindness of our God that motivated St. Nicolas’ generosity and his benevolence. The fourth century Bishop who has become the inspiration for this distraction would not have imagined the state of the world today. Children love and cherish Santa and are afraid to make his naughty list than hurt God. Of all the ways we could have betrayed God, we have turned the remembrance of His sacred day into a pagan festival.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:17
Christ came to save us from our own sins but did not come to start a religion to help us save ourselves. The world around us has done its best to try and subvert the true meaning of Christmas from us.
Jesus came in to the world as a babe wrapped in a manger just to die thirty-three years later. Killed by the same people who ministered the temple sacrifices of animals for the repentance of sin, thus making Jesus the ultimate sin offering.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.1 Corinthians 15:21
Sin entered through Adam in all our lives and we have been sinning since that day in the garden. However, our fall was not a surprise to our Creator and He had already prepared our redemption plan. By sending His Son to replace the sin offering that we had to give everyday to sanctify ourselves, God made it easier for us to commune with Him. The gift is not entry into heaven like most people think but the barriers that satan created between us and God now removed by the blood of Jesus.
This is the true meaning of Christmas should be celebrated every day of the year and not just on a day earmarked by the the rest of the world. Jesus came to remove these exact barriers for us to connect with God but we continue to create new barriers in the name of traditions and rituals. Let us understand the reason for His sacrifice and utilise it by coming closer to God among the noise of the festivities.