Calling All Contenders - Mike Muzzerall

The Significance Of Christmas

December 2019

Cherish it or dread it, Christmas is upon us. There is no shortage of those who feel it is a celebration of bygone days that should graciously fade away. They cite the commercialization of Christmas, the misplaced emphasis, and the worldly revelry that takes place during this season as reasons to refrain from any active role in Christmas celebrations. They have a legitimate concern, however, is it possible that they have forgotten the significance of Christmas?

But We Want To Be Accurate
I can hear them say, “But we want to be accurate. Jesus was not born on December 25. It was a pagan holiday. I will have nothing to do with a pagan holiday!” They are probably correct. As a matter of fact, the gospels are silent on the specific date. There was a time when January 6 was celebrated as the birth of Christ by Christians in Egypt. Tradition says that it was changed to December 25 by the end of the third or beginning of the fourth century by the Western church. Do we really think that it matters to the Lord on which day His children worship Him?

Pagan Days
To have nothing to do with the effects of paganism, you would have to cease from using the Gregorian calendar. The months of the year and the days of the week were named after Roman emperors and deities. How far do we take this? Would you refuse to celebrate your wedding anniversary because it was in August seeing that the month was named after Augustus Caesar who declared himself as a god? Tell me how that turns out. I have no problem celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 25, July 14, or any other date for that matter.

Christmas Is For Every Child
It goes without saying that Christmas is for children. The excitement, the anticipation, the glimmer in their eyes tells it all. In reality, Christmas is for every child of God—every blood-bought child of God should appreciate the significance of the incarnation of the Saviour and celebrate it as each deems appropriate.

The Words Of The Angel
The words of the angel clearly declare the significance of Christmas: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:10-11). Luke presents the phrase “I bring you good tidings” from the word euaggeliz, the verbal counterpart of the Greek word used for “gospel” (euaggelion). The angel was literally announcing the arrival of the one the gospels would point to, and the only one who could bring forgiveness and everlasting life.

If Then...Why Not Now?
If it was good tidings of great joy then, why not now? If the birth of the Saviour was important enough to be announced by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, how could it be less significant today? If it was the good news of the gospel then, why isn’t it now? Why would we see the celebration of the birth of the Saviour as anything else but good news?

Christmas Is Lost Without Calvary
Without the cross, there is no reason to celebrate the birth of Christ. Without Calvary, what happened long ago in Bethlehem has no significance. But there was a Christ born in the city of David. There was a place called Calvary. There was an old rugged cross. Calvary had its beginning in a manger in the city of David—that’s the significance of Christmas.
That’s why I celebrate Christmas.

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