Dear Friends of Jesus, Thank you for taking a few moments to read this.
In recent years we have battled to keep Christ in Christmas, determined not to switch out greetings of “Merry Christmas” for “Happy Holidays”. Now we are faced with a new dilemma: Is Christmas really a time when Christians should be celebrating the birth of Jesus, or is it just another pagan holiday dressed up to look like something good that we would do well to avoid?
The Enemy never ceases to make some problem where there was no problem and then get everyone distracted and scurrying around in religious, theological debates to figure out how to fix the problem. He is always raising doubt about God and His Commandments, just like he did with Eve, to confuse us about what we already know.
This is a typical ploy of the Devil. He uses our love for Jesus and the things of God to pull us into yet another debate about the will of God, this time taking issue with Christmas.
Some of our favorite spiritual leaders have been caught up in the discussion and have come against the celebration of Christmas because of its pagan roots as part of the Winter Solstice or because of what Constantine did back in 324 A.D. or because of Jeremiah 10.
Christmas is just another one of a million things the Devil has tried to “legalize” so he can make it “illegal” to celebrate. He makes up a “rule” and then tries to get everyone to live by the rule. Once he has got us believing that something is a “sin”, than all he has to do to get us to break the rule and he can accuse us of sinning. How clever!! We have just agreed with him that we are bad or guilty by trespassing against that rule which he now convinces us is the same as a “rule” of God. He now can justify “punishing” us because we agree that we are guilty. We vote “against” God’s love and forgiveness and “for” the Devil’s judgment.
Psalm 94:20 raised this exact question: “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with You – they who frame and hide their unrighteous doings under the sacred name of law?” (Amp. Bible) Could the “they” be the fallen ones, the Enemy who understands how to plant his corrupt thought into the minds of men, guising it as a law or commandment?
How many of us are in the debtor’s prison doing “time” for a crime that is not a crime? How many of the redeemed sons and daughters of God are being detained on trumped up charges by the Devil, Satan, the accuser of us all? And what did we do to deserve this treatment, but be born human?
The more insecure a dictator is, the more tightly the people are monitored and censured. Satan’s dictatorship is total control because he is total fear. There is nothing you can do to please him or get him “off your back” or bring you into his good graces because he has no good graces. He is jealous of us and hates us. Period!!
God is not insecure. He knows Who He is and where He comes from and what He is capable of. He made us. He wants us to flourish, like any good parent would. He does not set up things in our lives to make us fail or feel bad. He knows who we are and what He has seen for our lives. How He must grieve to see how tormented we are and how misunderstood He is.
And how our suffering and loss go on for a whole life time usually, with very little comfort and peace. No wonder the birth of His Son was so exciting for Him! A chance to tell us Himself, how much He loved us and wanted us to know the truth. As He carefully instructed the chief messenger angel that night who announced the birth of Jesus on what to say; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”
Christmas is one of the main times we get to see the love and vulnerability of God. How He descended into this hostile world to become like one of us, where He knew He would be misunderstood and lied about and betrayed. But He came anyway. We had been captured and were being systematically killed by His Enemy. He did not do it to “check in on us and see how we were doing”. He knew!
And now, after centuries of celebrating a “God Moment” with our Father, the Devil has found a way to spoil even this. Why do we take pictures and create family traditions, especially around special events, like Christmas, if not to make memories? And why are memories so important? Because things get in the way and the precious moments and more importantly, their meaning, can get lost and forgotten. The Memory of the Nativity, the first coming of our Savior, must never be lost or forgotten.
Now, even more than ever, as the Enemy seeks to rewrite Christmas as opportunity for the big chain merchant moguls to make another buck and for the rest of us to spend them, we must seek the refuge of that silent night when the darkness could not quietly cover up the arrival of Earth’s greatest gift. (To be continued)