Every year on December 25, many Christians celebrate Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. On the other hand, as a former Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) member, I was raised to believe that December 25 is not the birth date of Jesus. I grew up knowing that Christmas is not a religious holiday. I was indoctrinated that celebrating Christmas is paganism and a form of blasphemy against our Almighty God.
Many years have passed. I became involved and began to think about Christmas. I consider myself a learner and a seeker of good news, and Christmas is an indispensable topic among believers. I have a lot of questions. Is it true paganism? What exactly is the essence of Christmas? What is the benefit to me? Will it help my spiritual life? What does Christmas mean to me regarding my relationships with others and, most importantly, with our Almighty God?
Christmas and Bible
What does the Bible say about Christmas?
Is there a specific reference to “Christmas” in the Bible? Nope. Is it true that Jesus was born on December 25? Most certainly not. The Bible does not specify Jesus’ actual birthday. The nativity story contains contradictory clues, such as the presence of shepherds and their sheep, implying a spring birth. This is why other Christian sects, such as the INC and Jehovah’s Witnesses, refuse to celebrate Christmas. It’s not in the Bible.
Christmas and History
According to history, at the end of the third century, church officials chose December 25 to coincide with pagan festivals honoring Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, and Mithra, the Persian god of light. As a result, it became easier to persuade Rome’s pagan citizens that Christianity was the empire’s official religion. It is for this reason that Christmas is regarded as paganism. At this point, it appears that everything is being done for political reasons rather than to commemorate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Christmas and Me
Looking back on my childhood without Christmas is strange and uncomfortable. I had the impression that I didn’t fit in. It’s not because I want to receive gifts, but because I value the togetherness it brings.
Yes! I crave to celebrate Christmas because it conveys the message of love, peace, hope, and joy from our Almighty God through our Messiah Jesus. For me, Christmas is not a symbol or a religious ritual to be observed. Instead, Christmas is a season of opportunity for us to reflect and nurture our relationship with God. I finally started celebrating Christmas up to this point, and I have no plans to stop.
Does this mean I believe that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus Christ? Certainly not. But is it okay to celebrate the birth of Christ on that day? Well, this is what I believe- whatever, whichever day or date you will celebrate the birth of Christ, it does not matter.
What matters is our intention to celebrate. If we have the right and pure sense, I trust that God Almighty will give His mercy upon us. He is all-knowing and all-loving, after all.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—Ephesians 2:4-5
According to this Bible passage, it is permissible to celebrate birthdays as long as you intend to remember and praise our Almighty God. Therefore, our celebrations should always be about giving thanks to and honoring our Almighty God for allowing us to experience His love, support, and wondrous works!
What more if we celebrate the birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ?
- ‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.’ –Isaiah 7:14
- ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ – Matthew 1:21
The Bible passages quoted above are just two of many that speak about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and the purpose for which he was brought into this world by Almighty God.
Christmas has been the subject of much discussion and debate among religious scholars and well-known religious leaders. But, as a student of the word of God and a believer, I believe that Christmas is something to cherish, enjoy, and be thankful for. It has nothing to do with religion, tradition, or rituals. Instead, it is about our spiritual relationship with our Creator, the God Almighty.
Christmas provides us with an excellent opportunity to draw closer to God Almighty! It is the perfect time to remember and honor God’s love and mercy for us through Jesus. We can reciprocate God’s love for us by loving others, sharing our blessings, and respecting one another, especially during the Christmas season, with the right amount of commitment and purest intention.
“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.“Jesus Christ
What’s your Christmas experience? What do you think about faith and Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!
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