- Holidays and Celebrations
The Jesus in Christmas
It's hard to find the Jesus in Christmas. Sure we can always say we remember Jesus in some way, shape or form but all the while we are bustling around spending, charging, wrapping, lining up with kids for pictures with Santa and performing the "Christmas" ritual.
I like to stay focused on Jesus and while its supposed to be "easier" to get into the "spirit" at Christmas time then why am I feeling grumpy? Maybe the "spirit" of Christmas is actually the spirit of "mammon" or riches aka "consumerism. TV is brimming with endless Christmas shows without even a garnish of the real reason for the season. Christmas carols about anything other than Jesus absolutely grate on me. I also think I'm bothered by the fact that I concede to decorating a pagan Christmas tree instead of a cross (I'll explain below). Either way, my feelings seem to be too elaborate and too lengthy for a Facebook post so I invite you to join me in an attempt to balance the scales in favour of the Saviour!
What Does the Word "Christmas" Really Mean?
Christmas means "Mass of Christ." "Mass or MIssa", as used by the Roman Catholics means death. "Merry death of Christ!" This is what people including Christians are saying to each other.....hmmm. I wonder what they would think if you interpreted that back to them? So, Merry death of Christ? I thought it was a celebration of His birth? I'm eternally grateful for His death on the cross but I also know he was resurrected and is alive right now! If we are celebrating his birth it might be more appropriate to say Merry Christnatus or more simply Merry Birth of Christ.
So this is a Christmas Tree?
Where exactly did the idea of a Christmas Tree come from? Was it always called a "Christmas Tree"? Is the Christmas Tree mentioned in the Bible? My understanding is that with very little research you will find that Christmas time was originally part of Roman Paganism, Saturnalia, Mithraic Rites & Sun God and Egyptian Ra Worship. That being said it was obviously not called a Christmas Tree and it may surprise you that "the tree" is mentioned in the Bible.
Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne (carried), because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
Where is Christmas From? - Pagan Holiday? Christian Holy Day? Both?
Did You Know?
Did you know what Merry Christmas really meant?
Should we be against Pagan Christmas?
I believe that through Jesus these holidays with evil pagan origins are sanctified when He is glorified (not put aside) in them, just as I believe in my own sanctification through Christ who saved me from my own evil roots. Through this sanctification we draw closer together in relationship with Him and in doing so, I'd like to shed the Pagan rituals that try to cover him up.
When I get all this straightened out I will definitely feel more joyful about it, it won't be the pagan way or scrooge's way it'll be the narrow way!
What is a Bibletree - If you decide to do the same make sure that you use led lights that don't give off any heat and risk fire hazard.
This year we are stepping away from the tree ritual described in Jeremiah 10:3-5: Instead we are going to make a Bibletree with the Holy Bible on top. The money we save on the tree and decorations will be used to stuff stockings for the homeless. Some people may simply like the fact that trees aren't being cut down and thrown in the dump. We like it all!
Merry Christmas and Merry Christnatus! Jesus is alive!
Jesus, Consumerism & You
The Book of Christmas Folklore - Coffin, Tristram P. Seabury, 1973
Writes Coffin in Christmas Folklore:
"Most people have heard that the Christmas tree originates in the tannenbaum and is some sort of vestige of Teutonic vegetation worship. THIS IS PARTIALLY TRUE. However, the custom of using pine and other evergreens ceremonially was well established at the ROMAN SATURNALIA, even earlier in Egypt" (p. 209).
"The Christmas tree...recapitulates the idea of tree worship...gilded nuts and balls symbolizing the sun...all the festivities of the [heathen] winter solstice have been absorbed into Christmas Day...the use of holly and mistletoe to the Druidic ceremonies; the Christmas tree to the honours paid to Odin's sacred fir...." (p. 236).