And obviously, I believe that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of my Savior. That's the big reason for the season, the thing that puts the "holy" into this holiday. As many have observed, you can't have CHRISTmas without CHRIST.
So quit trying to pour cold porridge on my celebration.
Yes, I know Jesus was not born on December 25. I am aware of modern research that places the manger in a cave, or a roof, or a tent. I know the three kings weren't kings, there weren't three of them, and they arrived much later. I know there was no innkeeper, lowing cattle, or little drummer boy.
Furthermore, I know about the history of how December 25 was originally a pagan holiday and that many of the customs and traditions and symbols of Christmas were actually borrowed from these pagan practices.
And don't even start telling me about Santa Claus.
The critiques come from many sources:
- The guy who comes to my door and recites all this stuff in hopes of causing me to forsake my un-biblical traditions and embrace his system.
- The atheist/agnostic/liberal skeptic who smugly expounds on these things so that I will awkwardly admit that my faith is silly.
- The otherwise Christian expert whose mission in life is to make sure every single jot and tittle are precisely lined up according to their own infallible scholarship.
- Sincere people of every stripe who traditionally resist anything that is traditional.
So why, in spite of everything, do I really, really like Christmas?
Christmas is a recognition that God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, became a human being. He lived a sinless life, He died to pay the price for my sins, He was buried, and He rose again three days later so that, by trusting Him as my Lord and Savior, I can have a brand new life and day-to-day relationship with Him.
No, there is nothing in Scripture that calls upon us to recognize the birth of Jesus. But the importance of the Incarnation is stressed. For example, 1 John 4:2-3 says, "