Not everyone feels merry at Christmas. Some skip it completely. What should be our attitude?
Today you are in for a treat. Today’s Guest Contributor is none other than my wife, Amy Russo. I always enjoy Amy’s writing; I know you will too. Without further ado, sharing her reflections on the Christmas season, is Amy’s post entitled ‘Tis the Season. -AR
Christmas season. A time for family, happiness, joy, fun, love, perfect gifts, Christmas trees, food, great parties with everyone smiling. At least that’s what it looks like in the Hallmark movies. And for some families, this might be the case – but it isn’t for everyone. Or maybe only bits and pieces of it are like this for you. That is okay. Possibly you’d rather skip the whole thing. Also okay.
And these feelings can change from one year to the next.
Today Grace and Peace Radio is happy to present to you the writing of Mr.Jan Blonk. Jan and I are just starting to get to know one another but have already been surprised by how much we have in common. Speaking for myself, it will be interesting to see what the Lord may have in mind by having had us connect.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Jesus came for us: “For unto you is born . . .” He came to save us from our sins, paying our debt: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). His life and death served this very purpose, having guaranteed results.
I’m a Christian, but I don’t celebrate Easter. I don’t mark Good Friday or any of Holy Week. And when the time rolls around again, I don’t much celebrate Christmas either. Frankly, in some ways I wish no Christians did.
I’m not one of those “Christmas trees are bad because Babylonians worshipped trees” kind of Christians. I’m not saying a Christian who celebrates Christmas or Easter is somehow less of a Christian. I’m not saying special days are necessarily wrong (I love celebrating birthdays, for example). I’m just saying that if my church did Easter egg rolls/hunts/helicopter egg drops, I’d be finding another church faster than you could say “Peter Cottontail.” (Just like I left a church after its very blasphemous patriotic service one July 4th.)
I believe Christians are to be different than the world. Contra mundum (“against the world”) as the phrase goes in Latin. I believe it would be more of a witness to the world around us if Christians conducted themselves and their church services as usual on Easter, no special music, no special outfits, nothing special at all.
Just another Sunday…. But Sundays are for celebrating!
As believers we ought to be showing the world that we “celebrate Easter” every Sunday. If we only call-and-respond He is Risen!/He is Risen, Indeed! once a year, we’ve got it wrong. We could say that any Sunday of the year! (Or any day, for that matter.) Every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, not just some annual moving-target of a Sunday each year.
I admit, my unsaved family don’t understand this. The fact that my wife and I don’t really celebrate Christmas or Easter confounds them. How can you go to church all the time and read the Bible and be religious but not celebrate Christmas or Easter? they ask. (When I try to explain, it becomes evident fairly quickly that the question was a rhetorical one.)
I’m not saying that celebrating these days is wrong or sinful. A patriotic Memorial Day or July 4th service? Now those are sinful; but I don’t believe celebrating Christmas or Easter are. I just don’t think either is necessary, and certainly not in the over-the-top way so many man-centered churches hype them as a gimmick to draw in new attendees.
From what I read here, Charles Spurgeon, for example, was against the religiosity and “purely popish origin” of Christmas, not the general sentiments of warmth and goodwill the season brings. I agree. My wife and I hang a strip of fake garland across the mantel and fill stockings with little gifts of candy, pens, journals, etc. to each other. But I disagree with focus on the “baby Jesus” if it is at the expense of forgetting His finished work, present reign, and soon return.
Spurgeon seemed to take the same approach with Easter, having this to say about it:
To set apart an Easter Sunday for special memory of the resurrection is a human device, for which there is no Scriptural command, but to make every Lord’s-day an Easter Sunday is due to him who rose early on the first day of the week.
There’s nothing wrong with Christians celebrating Easter; I’m just not a fan of making a big deal about it when everybody else does. But if you’re one of the Christians who look forward to this time each year, and you celebrate it, than I genuinely do wish you and yours,