No, the title doesn’t have typos on it. I wrote that one intentionally. (By the way, I am writing this as I munch my breakfast. I’m zooming to the office as soon as I’m done.)
Christmas time our sermons usually center around the different ways men celebrate the holidays sans Christ. In fact, the thrust of most sermons is to remember the “reason for the season.” Preachers and pastors remind us that the real reason we celebrate the holiday is because Christ was born – the one promised in the Old Testament, the one humbled sinners were waiting for.
The message to remember Christ is given with good reason. According to an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Christmas is the time when there are increased cases of hypertension. These come from a combination of stress (due to the holiday rush), hyper-activity (like in entertaining an endless stream of guests during Christmas), and of course, overeating. No need to expand on that last part. It’s obvious people forget their diets and pig out during December. (I’m one of those who pig out, by the way.) Further, the article states that only fourteen percent of the people with hypertension recognize their condition.
All this brings to mind the question of whether or not we’re truly enjoying freedom in Christ. We’re supposed to be celebrating and remembering his birth, but does that mean we have to suffer (and maybe even die) from hypertension just to make our Lord happy? Is this freedom? Or are we so tied down – chained in fact – to the traditions and customs that surround the holiday that saying “remembering the reason for the season” is merely token lip service? Anyone else notice how the more we pay lip service to him, the farther he gets?
Please note: I’m not opposed to partying, nor am I against eating and having fellowship during the Christmas season. I know some brothers and sisters in the Lord who absolutely refuse to celebrate Christmas (either because they’re convinced of the pagan origins of the holiday or because of the crass commercialism involved) and I respect them for their conviction. Anyway, this post is not about the propriety of Christmas. It is about whether or not we who say we worship Christ really worship Christ during Christmas.
What if we were to test our freedom in Christ, my fellow Christians? Instead of Christmas parties, why not a prayer and worship service on the 25th? And no, not a silly service where people give testimonies on how God has been “good to them” – I mean a time wherein we pray for the world that continues to celebrate Christmas, but don’t have Christ in their hearts. A service where we give glory to God for fulfilling his promise and sending his Son, our Savior.
What if we were to decide to have no gift-giving, no partying, no reason to destroy our health next Christmas? Perhaps we will hear howls of compliant from people who just have to have these things to do during the holiday. I don’t know.
Just some random thoughts generated by that Inquirer article…