Yesterday while riding in the car to my grandma's, I was doing a lot of thinking about Christmas and all that goes on around this season. Mainly I was thinking about how frustrated Christians get that people don't keep Jesus in Christmas. Everywhere you go you hear people saying, "Keep Christ in CHRISTmas," and "Jesus is the reason for the season." I mean sure it's great to strive for those things, but how come we don't hear Christians getting this frustrated at people who don't keep Christ at the center of every day?
I know I'm going to sound like a scrooge, but I'm not, I love Christmas as much as you do. No one knows the date when Jesus was born. It wasn't recorded in the Bible, nor did people celebrate his birthday. Celebrating birthdays the way that we think of was not even a part of Jewish culture. The other day I was reading article in Relevant magazine the other day about this topic. I'd like to quote a section from the article that stuck out to me.
"And in the early years of Christianity, that specific day was celebrated as the birthday of the Persian sun god, Mithras. The religion built around this deity Mithraism, had become a major rival to the Church in fourth-century Rome, and December 25 was a big party day for the pagans whom Christians hoped to convert. Which posed a problem: How do we convert these guys if we immediately make them give up their favorite feast? So, even though the early Church hadn't really bothered to observe Christ's birth at all, Pope Julius I chose Dec. 25 as the official feast day to honor Baby Jesus. And what a coincidence that this date not only competed with rival religions but made it a lot easier for new converts to drop their paganism while holding on the day's merriement, feasts and fun. The papal pronouncement became official in 375 A.D. Suddenly Jesus had a birthday." Stealing Christmas by Jason Boyett
Christmas was intended to make it easy for people to become Christians. It put out the message to people that Jesus didn't have to be a part of everything in their life. To me it seems like this was the beginning of putting Jesus in a box. This way of thinking said that Jesus didn't have to transform your life, which goes against everything that Jesus ever taught. Matthew 13:33 states, "He told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough." Yeast takes over the dough. It transforms it into bread. There's no such thing as bread where half of it has been affected by the yeast and the other half hasn't. It just doesn't work that way. Jesus is like the yeast. He takes over your life and no area should be left unaffected by who He is.
So what does all this mean for celebrating Christmas? Of course we should celebrate Christmas. But should it be the only day when we focus on Jesus? Of course not. As Christians, we should be getting as frustrated with people not keeping Jesus the center of every day as we do with people who don't keep Jesus the center of Christmas. Certainly, I don't think that I know exactly how to do this, nor do I always remember. It's as much a challenge for me as it is for you.
So remember, Jesus is not the reason for the season. He's the reason for every day.
This has nothing to do with the note, but this was written using Omniwriter, which is an awesome new word processor. It made writing so much easier and fast.