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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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DOUBTING CHRISTMAS?

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 ESV)

Modern culture has created a society in which skepticism and cynicism thrive. We especially see a lot of this during the Christmas season. Atheist ads tell us there is no God – “so just be good for goodness’ christmassake.” Others remind us each year that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December and that it was a pagan holiday. They don’t understand that when the early Church saw the work of Satan in the customs of the people, they aggressively set out to change and sanctify it to the glory of Jesus Christ. How many people do you know today who celebrate the holiday of Saturnalia or the festival of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun? See my point? They were not compromising with the world; they were taking the world for Christ.

In our present time, people still want to celebrate Christmas, but many do not seriously make Christmas a time to advance the cause of Christ. Too often, the impulse behind our modern Christmas is unashamed materialism. Santa, decorations and the spirit of self-indulgence have replaced the Spirit of Christ in this Christian celebration. The world continues to seduce the children of God to return to paganism. Will Christmas succumb to the darkness and become only a cultural holiday?

Christmas is an important time to remind people that:

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)

Christmas is not simply a warmhearted feeling; it is all about Jesus Christ who is God become man. Christ brought the light of truth into a world suffering from darkness and lies. He is Immanuel (God with us). (Matthew 1:23 ESV) He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16 ESV)

The very purpose of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of a Savior. Salvation has come to a sinful people. Mankind was lost, dead in sin without the ability to even reach out to God. Yet, God through Jesus Christ chose to save us. All who receive Him and believe in His name are made the children of God. These children are not by blood or human will – but by the grace of God. (John 1:12-13 ESV)

While many may choose to doubt the significance of Christmas and see it only as Santa’s holiday or a cultural celebration, Christians honor the Savior and King who brought light into the darkness of men’s hearts. It is a time for worship and seeking to become more like Christ in our daily lives. It is an occasion for Scripture readings, songs and prayers. It is a season for humbling ourselves to consider the needs of others. It is a moment in time when Christians should grasp the opportunity to declare that Christmas is a celebration of God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ in order to reveal His salvation, love, and grace. As Christians, let us take this glorious occasion to proclaim the Gospel to all of creation. (Mark 16:15 ESV)

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