In our day, Christmas is largely a secular and commercial event. However, to some, it means a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. And just as the “wise men from the east” brought gifts to honor the Babe’s birth, so we celebrate with gifts to our loved ones.
Matthew 2:11, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Although December 25th is not the date of the birth of Jesus (it was at the beginning of October), Christians often will look past this mistake. They take a charitable view of the matter. They choose to be thankful for the commemoration of this blessed event. They rejoice in sharing what the birth of Jesus means to them.
From a different perspective, may Christians, with a clear conscience, celebrate non-scriptural holidays? More importantly, did Jesus ever celebrate non-scriptural holidays? Yes, He did! Scholars agree that Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of dedication (John 10:22, Chanukah). This Jewish feast was established by Judas Maccabaeus to commemorate the cleansing and rededication of the Jewish temple in 139 BC. It is called the Festival of Lights. It celebrates the miraculous burning of the lamps of the menorah for a full seven days. (History records there was only enough oil to burn for one day. Hence it was a miracle.)
When our Lord was in the temple, He did not tell them to stop celebrating Chanukah. Instead, He used the occasion to identify Himself as sent from God. He told them they could receive eternal life through Him (John 10:28). Similarly, we can use the celebration of Christmas as an opportunity to tell our family and friends about Jesus.
The birth of our Savior was announced by the angels as a time of great joy for them and for all mankind. Luke 2:8-14, “…the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 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… And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
If the angels rejoiced, shouldn’t we rejoice as well?
For Jesus, Himself, is a GIFT. A gift from God to ALL mankind.
Romans 5:18, “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”