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gift of godI find myself here again, as usual, very early in the morning. 4AM this time. With different thoughts on Christmas running thru my head that just won’t leave my mind.

Christmas has always been my favorite season. All the lights, the smell and beauty of the fresh cut trees, all the pretty decorations, warm fires in the fireplace, hot cocoa, parties with friends, family or neighbors and of course the presents, and more presents.. Oh and the giving gifts to others.. Of course.

This year is much the same, but the intensity is so much more. I find myself once or twice a day crying my brains out of my eyeballs, this time is not in sadness or brokenness, but with tears of crazy and ecstatic joy for this new life.

Without the most precious gift that has ever been given to us, I would still be in an alcoholic state, smoking cigarettes all day, angry at the world and living in a constant state of disgust and hatred for myself.

Instead, I just cannot contain the joy I have that the Almighty God loves us ALL so much, that he decided that he would step in and take some action on our behalf. He was going to give us the most precious gift that would or could ever be given for all time. He saw that those of us he loved so much, had taken on a life of terrible sin and debauchery. And because he wanted us to be saved from sin, he came down as a man, to live the life that we live, to understand the temptations and trials that we were going thru, to be born as our Saviour Jesus Christ, for one of the most loving and selfless acts that any man could do for another human being. To give his own life for ours. To take all or our sin upon himself, to save those of us whom believe. To truly set us free and give us a freedom that we actually don’t really deserve.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3-16. 

So being up this early, One of the crazy thoughts that I had running through my mind and decided to google was, “Why do atheists celebrate a holiday that is supposed to be about Jesus” and I actually came upon a website or two that explain why some Christians gave for reasons they don’t celebrate Christmas. I was shocked. You can see that my mind uses a lot of space that could be used so much more wisely. Anyhow….

The biggest argument as to why is that, it is a pagan ritual. While there are definitely pagan roots to some traditions, there are many more traditions associated with the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of the Savior of the world in Bethlehem. Bells are played to ring out the joyous news, candles are lit to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world, John 1:4-9,  a star is placed on the top of a Christmas tree to remember the Star of Bethlehem, and gifts are exchanged to remind us of the gifts of the Magi to Jesus, the greatest gift of God to mankind.

Another argument against Christmas is having a Christmas tree. They say that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18) The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees. Not sure about you, but I am pretty sure that nobody is kneeling down and worshiping their tree.

Christians who choose to ignore Christmas point to the fact that the Bible doesn’t give us the date of Christ’s birth, which is true. December 25 may not be even close to the time Jesus was born, and arguments on both sides are legion, some relating to climate in Israel, the practices of shepherds in winter, and the dates of Roman census-taking. None of these points are without a certain amount of conjecture, which brings us back to the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born. Some see this as proof positive that God didn’t want us to celebrate the birth, while others see the Bible’s silence on the issue as tacit approval.

Some Christians say that since the world celebrates Christmas—although it is becoming more and more politically correct to refer to it as “the holidays”—Christians should avoid it. But that is the same argument made by false religions that deny Christ altogether, as well as cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny His deity. Those Christians who do celebrate Christmas often see the occasion as an opportunity to proclaim Christ as “the reason for the season” among the nations and to those trapped in false religions.

There really is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. There is also no biblical mandate to celebrate it, either. Of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision.

If you are against all the ridiculousness of Christmas, which a lot of it is,  then don’t spend money on gifts, don’t teach your children about Santa, don’t spend special time with your family in reflection, don’t use this season to bring the love of god to others. Wallow in your loneliness and be bitter at the world. To me it sounds as if once again it is Christians trying to earn their salvation by following rules and laws.

I know this shouldn’t make me angry as I should have grace for those with opposing views. Grace is obviously one of those things, that I have yet to fully give.. It is after all, 30 years of my own anger at everything that I am slowly trying to regurgitate from my heart, mind and soul. One of those things that I still have to ask God to help me work on.

I personally think that God loves for us to take a special day and month in time to celebrate and reflect on the Wondrous gift of Jesus’ birth.  Just as we do at Easter in celebration of his resurrection? Which again, I am sure if I googled it, there would be those Christians… I digress.

This is one of those times of year, where people from all over the world have the shared experience of peace, hope for the future and come together in love more then any other time. Which by the way, is the reason that Atheists give for celebrating the Holiday. I think that’s great, and unlike those Christians who don’t celebrate, the Atheist’s actually get it.. Jesus taught us to love each other as one of his top commandments to us. I guess Christmas actually is for everyone.

And again, are all the wonderful sermons that are taught at this time of year, truly worshiping God in vain? How many people do you know that only come to church for the Christmas & Easter services? I actually know quite a few.  Isn’t that a good chance to hope and pray that those once or twice a year attenders, would turn their life around and choose to change that?  Is that worshiping God in Vain? 

I also got to thinking, which may have also been brought on by my special friends Sermon at church last week. As we celebrate the birth of Christ, the funny thing is that we all think that Jesus came to bring peace to earth. We sing songs of a silent night, Peace on earth, goodwill towards men, etc…But the real truth of the matter is that the birth of Jesus was not all warm and fuzzy & did not bring peace. The then current King (Herod) was so angry at being betrayed by what we know as the three wise men & a new so called king, that he gave orders to kill every boy under the age of two.
Can you even imagine this in our day? Well I know some can, as in some ways this does go on in other countries. People being killed just because some leader is angry. But imagine if you can, every door on your street, being violently slung open by a stranger, looking in closets, under furniture, every hiding place, destroying your home looking for your beautiful and innocent child, only to stab and kill them violently with no remorse and fleeing from the scene, only to enter the house next door and to carry out the whole scenario over and over again. Women at every third or fourth house crying in the streets holding their bloody and dead children, crying out.. WHY!!!!!!

Even Jesus himself contradicted the idea of peace.
1. Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

2. He said in Luke 12:51, “Suppose ye that I am come to send peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division…” What was it that created division? – A sword, and specifically the Word of God. It is the Word of God that divides. It divides husbands and wives. It divides mothers and daughters, sons and fathers. It divides churches and even nations.

So, either there are a lot of preachers and singers who are wrong, or Jesus was a liar. Paul said in Romans 3:4, “…let God be true and every man a liar…” Jesus was not mistaken. He knew that it was not His birth that brought peace to the world. The exact opposite was true; His birth only brought division. Has there ever truly been Peace on Earth? Wars between country’s, wars within country’s, murder, rape, etc..

The Bible does teach that every person can have PEACE WITH GOD if he places his faith (trust) in Jesus Christ as Savior.  “Therefore being justified by faith we HAVE PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).”  Jesus Christ, by dying on the cross and paying for our sins, purchased our salvation (PEACE WITH GOD), which He offers to whosoever BELIEVETH ON HIM.  Why not trust Christ as your personal Savior.  You will never find PEACE apart from Jesus Christ.  Trust Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and give you eternal life.

Merry Christmas to ALL (that is, if you choose to celebrate it). If not.. I wish you much Peace, Love and Joy.

I pray that the New Year brings you much joy, a year of good health, a more beautiful relationship with God and a year of prosperity. May God Bless us Everyone!!!