Christmas is becoming increasingly 'secularised'. Political correctness has seeped in - some Councils and companies express a 'Seasons Greetings' wish rather than say 'Merry Christmas'!. . .
Christmas for Christians is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who came to earth to provide a way for us to be restored to relationship with the Father. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we can obtain forgiveness and new life as we confess our sins and commit to follow Jesus.
Our 2007 Christmas message told the the story of the godwit, an amazing bird that travelled 11,500 km non stop and relates this to the amazing love that God has for us.
Christmas message - the godwit flies 11,500 km non stop!
How should Christians celebrate Christmas?
Should we adopt all the trappings of Christmas that are used by secular society?
Many of the 'trappings' and 'traditions' of Christmas have pagan origins. However, that doesn't mean Christmas is celebrating a pagan deity or a pagan festival just because a previous winter festival was held on the same date.
However some of the current 'festivites' have nothing to do with Christianity and it has become increasingly commercialised.
Some Christians have decided not to celebrate Christmas at all, because of these connections and because Jesus wasn't actually born on 25 December.
Others celebrate with all the 'trimmings'.
The use of 'Santa' often replaces the celebration of Jesus' birth. For Christians it introduces a confusion about what we are actually celebrating. Pastor Steve McNeilly has written an insightful article - and a longer booklet - about why Christians shouldn't include 'Santa' in their celebration of Christmas. See below.
Is there a middle way? To focus on the birth - and death and resurrection - of Jesus but not have all the secular trimmings, some with pagan origins, that often remove the focus on the message of Christ.
As Christians we need to carefully consider the symbolic nature of these aspects as we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus as He came to earth to die for our sins. We don't just focus on the nativity but we look forward to the crucifixion and resurrection and His coming return.
Ultimately how you celebrate Christmas is up to you - as long as we focus on Jesus Christ!
The Unwrapping of Christmas
This DVD from Jeremiah Films will make you really think about the traditions of Christmas. It analyses the pagan origins of the tree, the Yule log, the origin of 'Santa' and so on. The video also looks at why some Christians decide not to celebrate 'Christmas' at all.
The authors conclude that we can use the Christmas celebration to draw people to the real message of Jesus.
Click here to purchase this DVD from Jeremiah Films.
NAKED ON CHRISTMAS DAY
By Pete Lane, Exodus Asia Pacific.
Peter contrasts his meeting with people who are on the edges of society and the outcasts with the birth of Jesus who was born in difficult circumstances... he encourages us to look beyond our comfort zone to those who are in need of Jesus' touch at Christmas...
On not celebrating 'Santa' . . .
We Don't Believe in Santa Anymore - By Pastor Steve McNeilly.
Pastor Steve McNeilly has written an insightful article on the origins of Santa Claus.
His message is that focusing on the myth of Santa confuses the message of the TRUTH of Jesus birth and life.
We don't believe in Santa Anymore
Another article on Santa...
The Origin of Santa Claus and the Christian Response to Him
By Dr. Richard P. Bucher
An article on a Lutheran webite - explores the origins and history of 'Santa Claus'. He concludes it is a 'fairy tale', and should not be celebrated at the same time as 'Christmas' or the birth of Christ.
A History of the Celebration of Christmas
Pastor Dennis Rupert writes about the history and background of Christmas celebrations, including the tree, santa claus, etc.
He asks 'Is it wrong to celebrate Christmas? His conclusion: We can celebrate Christmas 'to the Lord' as a reminder of his birth and death and resurrection. Some elements that have pagan roots have been re-defined to have Christian meanings.
He says "What's a Christian to do? Celebrate to the Lord! And discern bad elements from neutral or good ones."
Celebrating Christmas at all?
R.C. Sproul answers the question of whether we should celebrate Christmas at all... with a resounding YES! Naturally with the focus on Jesus!
What are the origins of Christmas and can a Christian celebrate it?
Matthew J Slick, CARM - Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
Is Christmas Pagan?
Greg Koukl of Stand to Reasonexplains the previous pagan connections but contends many of them have a Christian meaning.
Is God Against Christmas?
No - says Answers in Action - after considering all the major objections.