Christmas celebrations include singing carols, baking cakes, decorating our houses and of course lighting up the Christmas tree. The children enact the nativity play as we remember the sequence of events that occurred during the birth of Jesus. While we sing the famous carol song “Joy to the world,” can we see the present world in joy as the outcome of the birth of Jesus? We have traded the joy of the birth of Jesus for meaningless celebrations, as the whole world joins in our celebrations only to have fun. When opportunists understood that this season makes all sects of people happy, they made it commercial to earn their fortune.
The Son of God came to this world to reconcile us with His Father (John 20:17). The death penalty was on us as the result of our sin, and Jesus took that punishment on Him and delivered us from the clutches of death, and reconciled us with His Father.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;Isaiah 9:2
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of Jesus to the world metaphorically that light has dawned. The Gospel of John introduced Jesus as the true light that gives light to everyone (John 1:9). Do we ever receive this light? If the light is in us, do we pass on this light to the world? Or are we overwhelmed by illuminating our houses and churches during Christmas that we have forgotten the purpose of this day? Paul understood this secret of glorious light residing in his heart and passed on the light to the world.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.2 Corinthians 4:7
The Territories Lost
In the old testament days, chosen people of God had understood the joy of the salvation of God, but they seldom retained it (Psalm 51:12). The Bible speaks about the unspeakable joy of salvation that has become available to everyone because of the birth of Jesus Christ. By sending His Son, God enlarged the territories of the people of God and increased their joy. The wise men came from afar and adored the infant Jesus. By announcing the Good News about the birth of His Son, God filled the hearts of the shepherds with joy. God enlarged His territory from scholars to unschooled shepherds.
You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;Isaiah 9:3
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
By celebrating Christmas in a worldly way, we have degraded the Joy of the birth of Jesus that paves the way to salvation of all people (Romans 10:13), to a seasonal celebration. Ornamenting a Christmas Tree is a pagan culture followed by the people of Scandinavia and Germany. God created the Pine or Fir tree to survive the winter season with its thin leaves, and it remains green during the winter season. Failing to see the wisdom of God through the ever-green nature of the tree, some worshipped the tree itself while some others attributed it to their sun god.
History recorded the names of St. Boniface of Crediton and Martin Luther of Germany as people who used the fir tree as a Christmas Tree to illustrate immortality to the people during mid 15th century. They decorated it with candle lights to represent Jesus, the light of the world. The practice of singing carols to mark the birth of Jesus emerged during the 13th century. With all these innovative ideas to give publicity to the birth of Jesus, we have lost the genuineness of the Good News. Instead of letting God increase our territories, we allowed others to cut down on ours.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God —I say this to your shame.1 Corinthians 15:33-34
The Territories Gained
God desires to make people know about the joy of salvation through the lives of His people, irrespective of the festive seasons. If we fulfill the desire of God, He will increase the territory of His people. Paul experienced this salvation and proclaimed the purpose of Jesus coming into this world as a living testimony.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst.1 Timothy 1:15
During the initial stages of the early churches, the disciples did not display a star or showcase a scene of a manger to introduce Jesus to people. They testified their experience of salvation to bring people into His fold. God increased the territory and added people to His church (Acts 2:47). Every believer feels happy about the Christmas season, and they think that using the festive season, we can tell the Gospel to everyone. Let us not wait for the seasons and be fooled by the tricks of satan. God made His light shine through the lives of His disciples to shine on the faces of the gentiles.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.2 Corinthians 4:6-7
The Gospel of John addressed the Gentile audience of the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus. Therefore, we must understand it the way the Greek-speaking people understand it. For us, “word” is a form of expressing our views on what we see or feel conveyed through our speech or writing. The Greek word “logos” is an expression of the plans of God and His invisible power of creation.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:1-2 & 14
When people make the creations as lifeless gods and adore men as their gurus, the power of God has become flesh and dwelled in this world to recreate man in His image. The incarnation existed to save people who believed in their reincarnation.
The Present Context
Our traditional way of celebrating Christmas has corrupted the purpose of Jesus coming to this world. Removing all the unwanted attachments to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, at this stage, seems to be impossible. At the same time, we know that our God is a God who makes impossible things possible. With this understanding, if we wholeheartedly decide to leave all these fruitless celebrations and vow to rejoice only in His salvation, the “Logos” will bring the same revival in our time that happened during the initial stages of early churches.