A Real Reason for Humbug!

by Stan Mitchell
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, ESV).
History suggests that Christmas was originally held as an early church counter to a pagan holiday. Church leaders found that new converts to Christianity who seemed to be adapting to their new lifestyle tended to backslide around Winter Solstice, when their old friends invited them to participate in the drunken revelry of the ancient ways. Such symbols as the Yule log and Christmas tree are echoes of this pagan background. So the church offered an alternative that became “Christ Mass.”
Many sincere believers in Christ haunted perhaps by a spirit of Ebenezer you-know-who in Dickens’ novel refuse to celebrate this event at all because of its pagan background.
Perhaps we should worry more about the other pagan elements of Christmas, greed and avarice, drunken excess, and rampant materialism, all of which render today’s Christmas more pagan than any unrestrained dance that might have taken place among ancient Germanic tribes!
Over time its original intent has been diluted. The Bible nowhere gives an actual date for the birth of Jesus. Interestingly, it does give the time of year for his death – in the spring time, the Friday of Passover.
And a time for his resurrection – the Sunday following.
Everyone loves a baby, but the birth of Jesus Christ was less about sentiment, and more about sin.
Do you celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25? Fair enough. But a Jesus who saves us from sin – now there’s a real reason to celebrate!

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