December 21, 2020

Celebrating Christmas or Observing a Holiday?

Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people’. . . 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!’” Luke 2:10; 13-14 (NKJV)


We associate certain sights, sounds, and smells with Christmas. We also connect certain words with this time of year. Retailers sell words such as peace, joy, hope, and believe on plaques and plaster them throughout their stores. But not everyone who peddles the word “peace” or buys the word “believe” grasps their true significance. These words hold special meaning, not because we’re observing a holiday but because we’re celebrating Christmas.


For instance, the world places more emphasis on believing in Santa Clause than belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. The Bible offers a paradigm shift for those of us who identify ourselves as believers. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).


And while it’s great to promote peace between both people and nations, the miracle of Jesus’ birth is that we can live at peace with God. Consider what Romans says regarding peace, joy, hope, and belief:


“It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 4:24-5:2 NKJV).


That’s the joy of Christmas! Jesus is our peace and our hope. Celebrating Christmas means that we properly connect these words with Christ. Anything else is just observing a holiday. So, let’s speak words of peace to those who are still at war with God. Let’s proclaim belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our only hope of salvation. Let our hearts and homes be filled with the words of Christmas and with the joy of their true significance.