There are lots of views on what christmas represents and I’m not planning to go into all those ins and outs here. I simply want to ask and try to answer the question “If christmas”.
Coming at this question from a more or less Christian belief point the question is, if christmas is the celebration of the Messiah’s birthday, then why do we celebrate it the way we do.
Think about the traditional birthday celebration. We assemble with that persons family and friends and give the person gifts we think they will like. Now compare this with the standard christmas celebration. We gather with our family and friends and give each other gifts we think they will like. Aside from some church services we are not tied to celebrating with the Messiah’s family or friends. I dare say most modern christmas celebrations do not bring the Messiah into the mix at all. It’s usually more about quaint traditions about Santa, or what tv shows we always watch, and of course the music.
But what if we celebrated His birthday like we do our own? We would gather with his family. That usually means church for most people but is that a guarantee of being with his family. Does his family consist of more than just church people? Whom does the Messiah say are his family?
Matthew 12:50 For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven, that one is My brother and sister and mother.
Mark 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, this one is My brother, and My sister, and My mother.
Luk 8:21 And answering, He said to them, My mother and My brothers are these: the ones hearing the Word of God, and doing it.
Joh 15:14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
1John 3:23 And this is His commandment, that we should believe into the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as He gave command to us. 24 And the one keeping His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He gave to us.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are the ones doing His commands, that will be their right over the Tree of Life, and by the gates they may enter into the city.
It seems the Messiah wants us to be part of his family by obeying the commandments, and that this makes us part of his family of God.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, becoming of a woman, becoming under Law, 5 that He might redeem the ones under Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba! Father! 7 So that you no more are a slave, but a son, and if a son, also an heir of God through Christ.
Now right about here lots of people are going to say I’m pushing commandment for salvation. This could not be farther from the truth. I do not believe commandment keeping can save anyone. It plainly says so in scripture.
Galatians 3:21 Therefore is the Law against the promises of God? Let it not be! For if a law had been given which had been able to make alive, indeed righteousness would have been out of Law.
So we know we cannot earn our way into heaven so why does the Messiah say his family consists of commandment keepers.
In your own family when a child or sibling breaks a house rule do they get cast out of the house, no. But in order for the house to be peaceful all members need to abide by the house rules or conflict results. At home we identify as family by having a bloodline in common. In Gods family we are identified through the bloodline of our walk.
James 2:18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works. 19 You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder. 20 But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?
So works are required to demonstrate our inclusion in the family of faith in Messish.
Another part of the question “if christmas” is the idea of gifts. Why on his birthday do we give everyone gifts but him. How would you feel if your family had a party for you but everyone else gave gifts to each other and left you out. We all enjoy getting something we asked for when receiving gifts. Why don’t we give the Messiah what he asks for on our celebration of his birthday.
Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this is, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the guiltless.
John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those at His right, Come, the ones blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I hungered, and you gave Me food to eat; I thirsted, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you gathered Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you came to see Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. 37 Then the righteous ones will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungering, and we fed You; or thirsting, and we gave You drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and gathered You in; or naked, and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? 40 And answering, the King will say to them, Truly I say to you, In so far as you did it to one of these, the least of My brothers, you did it to Me.
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us, judging this, that if One died for all, then the all died; 15 and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to the One dying for them and having been raised.
It seems to me that Messiah’s desire is for us to show mercy, keep the commandments, take care of our fellow humans , and die to our own desires and live to be more like him. Now suppose we, on christmas, instead of giving gifts to each other tried practicing one of these actions a little more in our life. Maybe that would be a good gift to give our savior rather than using our resources on gratifying our material desires.
I see this as a long overdue reinspection of the way we think we are honoring our Savior. Let’s stop making December the month that the stores make their most profits and make it the month that each person puts into practice what the Messiah came to demonstrate to us about how to live our lives in reflection of the one who gave us life.
Think About It