Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

We are several days away from Christmas Day and the whole month of December has been a whirlwind, a beehive of activity, but it has been good. It seems like only yesterday that it was December 1. It has been so hectic that I have written a post since the end of November.

School is out for the holidays. I think students and teachers were looking for a break. It came at just the right time. The activities at church were inspiring. It started on December 7 with our church-wide Christmas Banquet sponsored by the Women's Division. The next weekend it continued with the Worship Ministry Banquet and the Children's Ministry Banquet. Yesterday, our Sunday Morning Bible Class held a Christmas Brunch and last night 33 Miles was here in concert. It was a free concert from our church to the community. It will end on Christmas Eve with our traditional service of Carols, Candles, and Lord's Supper.

We all know that the history of December 25th was pagan. By the time that Rome ruled the world, December 25th was the biggest pagan holiday of the year. You see, it evolved over the centuries to be the day it became.

By the 4th century, the Roman Catholic Church adopted December 25 as the date for the birth of Christ. No one knew the exact date, so this seemed to be a logical date to them, even it was the biggest pagan day in the history of paganism! Maybe they thought, while the pagan world was doing their thing, the Christian world would celebrate Christ the Lord. That is probably giving them too much credit.

Then there was St. Nick in the same 4th century. By the early 1800's St. Nick came to America and by the 1860's St. Nick evolved into Santa Claus. By the 20th century, America seemed to need a break from the long, bleak winter season and big business climbed all over it. The rest is history.

I am fully aware of the world's position on Christmas. I know that we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. We are Christians...Christ followers, disciples, believers, He is our all in all. We live in the world and yet we are not of the world. Sprinkled among us are those who celebrate a much different season. Yet, this is where we find people without Christ.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, shouldn't we be reaching those without Him, where they are? Just like we do the other 11 months a year? We seem to separate ourselves when the world needs us the most.

If there had not been the birth of Christ, there would be no discipleship today.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you abundantly in the new year.