As I write this article, we are coming to the tail end of an autumn that has felt a lot like winter. We are tossed back into the “ Christmas Season”. This can feel like a time when our top priority is to find the best Black Friday deal, when we get stressed out about hors d’oeuvre planning, when we might travel dozens or hundreds of miles to visit Family members that we would really rather not see.
Please do not be discouraged (Joshua 1:9). Last December, I wrote an article for this bulletin about the scriptures being read on that forth Sunday, and about another passage from the Bible. I reference Romans 14:5-8. It speaks about how each of us will have special days and normal days, and how we should regard them. Basically, whatever we do on any given day should be done for the Lord.
So, if any of us choose to celebrate Christmas with our family members of non-believers, let us make sure, as Christians, that we are doing so for the right reasons. Let us not fall into the traditions of man with blinders on. As we think about the teachings in Romans 14, and, as we are reminded to “live to the Lord”, let me put forth another suggestion; use this time of year to your advantage. We are not commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ, but let us use this season to point our loved ones to Christ. Plant the seed. It may be as simple as showing them Isaiah, where the Lord is prophesied some 700-ish years before his birth. It may be helpful to point them to the first couple of chapters of Matthew or Luke where Mary and Joseph and the Magi are discussed. These scriptures contain the inspiration and even the very words of Christmas carols that many non-believers enjoy singing. Explaining what the words to carols mean may be helpful, or showing folks some of the other verses to songs that many have never seen may trigger curiosity for learning more.
However you handle this time of year, please, do not be ensnared into the traditions of men. Do enjoy your time with brothers, sisters, and lover ones in His creation, as we put our God and Savior foremost in our lives every day of the year.