The holiday season is upon us. From October to January a multitude of various religious holidays occur. I grew up in a home that celebrated Christmas as a Christian holiday. I am well aware of the history of the Christmas holiday. I choose to let my celebration transcend the pagan origins. I observe the holiday in honor of my Lord and I am convinced in my own mind. Romans 14:5-7 covers this topic.
Romans 14:5-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
5 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord.[a]Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
Because of these verses I believe that the controversy over the pagan origins of the Christmas holiday are a mute point. I wonder at times if the Christians who are so offended by slights to their religious views have really read the entire Bible. So much controversy that occurs seems to me to be the antithesis of what the Bible teaches. We are to show our faith in the way we behave so that others may see Jesus in us. Often the actions of Christians do not reflect the Jesus that I know in my heart. My Jesus loves all of humanity and is saddened by the rejection of those who do not accept Him, because He does not want them to have to suffer the results of that rejection. Hateful and judgemental behavior is not the way to win people to Christ. We can only introduce people to the love of our Lord by showing His love to all people. That is my personal mission. At a time that I was seeking His purpose for my life I asked God how I could be used by Him and that still small voice said to me, “Love my people.” I understood that He did not mean just those who already know His love and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but all of humanity. The instruction was to tell me to show His love to everyone I encounter. Certainly it can be difficult at times, but, always I ask His guidance in this, my mission in life.
So, I too am saddened by the hostilities that arise when otherwise good Christian people are offended that their particular faith is shunned, ridiculed, hated and rejected. Christ himself said that it would be this way, that His people would be persecuted for their faith. Should they allow that persecution to offend them? I think not, to me, persecution is an indication that I am truly accepted by my Lord and am on the right track for my eternal salvation. I count it gain to be persecuted for my faith, if I were not, then I would fear that I have denied my Saviour and the consequences of that are worse than any persecution that I could endure. If I were to deny Jesus, then He will deny me to the Father (*) and that would be eternal damnation for me. I cannot imagine the torment that would cause. I do not want to imagine the torment, I want to shout out my love for Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I want all to see His love. It is not my job to proselytize, it is my job to love and by showing God’s love attract others to my Savior. (**)
So, with the holiday season upon us, I will continue to greet others with my standard, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” and will not be offended when I’m greeted with, “Happy Holidays.” There are many different religious holiday celebrated at this time of year and there is no need to be offended that someone does not greet one with Merry Christmas. Be happy, be jolly, enjoy the holiday season. Seek peace with your fellow travelers in this life. Do not be offended, do not be offensive, be at peace during this time of celebration.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all men,
* Matthew 10:33 (HCSB)
** John 13:35 (HCSB)