The question is often asked in school, “What would this look like to aliens who just landed on Earth, and they saw…” The purpose of the exercise is to get people to look at a subject from perspectives other than the ones already held by the participants. It’s a fun exercise that always initiates interesting conversations. What if this scenario was presented using Christmas for the subject? But, instead of aliens, it was someone from a foreign culture, one largely unaware of just what Christmas is about.
If that someone were to visit for the month of December, would they return to their village with an understanding of what was celebrated? Would their interpretation of the holiday be reflective of the imagery and manner in which you traditionally celebrate? Is it possible they would return home believing the Christian trinity was the Father, Son, and Santa Claus? As we gear up to commemorate our most sacred and holy holiday, celebrating the birth of our Great Redeemer, let us take a moment and consider how we celebrate Christmas.
Beginning a conversation on how Christmas is celebrated should begin with deciding on what Christmas IS. As my son once asked, is Christmas a Christian holiday or an American holiday? From a fundamentalist point of view, Christmas is celebrating God in the flesh walking the earth, declaring salvation from sin, and promising eternal life. If this is so, is Santa Claus worthy of such a monumental and sacred holiday? Do you correctly honor your God by gathering your children to convince them of this fictitious character, while failing to drive home the true magnitude of Jesus’ birth? If your celebration was a testimony, what would it say? The goal here is not to attack old Christmas traditions, but to encourage believers to honor Jesus in a more intimate way during this unique holiday.
I’m often reminded of the verse (Romans 11:11) that encourages Christians to worship God so faithfully, so enthusiastically, that the others would be provoked to jealousy. It has been my personal experience that, twice a year non-believers come around the church looking for answers. Twice a year, churches focus on traditions and entertainment, missing an amazing opportunity to reach out and touch people’s lives. Is this what your Christmas is about? Should it be? Is your Christmas about more than just snowmen, gifts, and exquisitely unhealthy food? Have you ever taken the time to pray about such matters?
It is my sincerest prayer that we can all learn to worship our Creator in a more intimate and holy way, separating ourselves from a world of unbelievers. And that even our small actions will become a chance to share or an encouragement to others. May you all have a blessed Christmas and enjoy the love our our savior, Jesus Christ!
Note: Please contact us at TRC Magazine if you have further questions about Jesus or leave a comment!