Many attempts are being made year on year to erase Christ from Christmas, by retailers, Councils, secularists and the rest. But at each attempt, they simply re-inforce the message that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, our King and Saviour!
First of course, there is the obvious link between the joyous greeting Marry Christmas and Christianity. Even those who shorten Christmas to Xmas still include Christ. In Greek, Χριστός means “Christ.” X has been an acceptable representation of the word “Christ” for hundreds of years. Some such as Google, choose to replace the traditional greeting with Happy Holidays, forgetting that ‘holiday’ means Holy Day!
Exchanging gifts with loved ones originates from the three wise men that present baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh not to mention the tradition of St Nicholas bringing cheer to the poor, the sick and the needy.
In St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he writes that three things will endure – faith hope and charity and the greatest of these is charity (Cor 13:13). This year, the number 1 pop single in the UK, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, was put together by a large group of musicians, who gave their services free in order to raise money for charity – to help the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago. Last year it was the Military Wives raising funds for their new charitable foundation. Our televisions too at this time of year are full of charitable appeals.
Christmas Day is also a day of rest spent with the family, obeying the fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. This is how it should be every Sunday but at least, if you exclude online shopping, all except essential workers do have the opportunity to keep this one day in the year holy.
So next time a non-believer tells you they are not religious at all, ask them if they have a Christmas tree, lights around the house, a festive meal with family and so on – then ask them why and how they believe these traditions started. Then remind them it is because our God chose to send his only Son to be born as a baby to peasants in a manger in order to save the world.