Give The World The Real Christmas
Matthew 9:10-13 (NIV)
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.
11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Many of us have varied impressions of Christmas. But most of us would agree that for children, Christmas is a time of anticipation, hoping to receive their dream toys and having lots of fun during Christmas parties. As a child, our understanding of Christmas would often be filled with tales of Santa Claus riding on a sleigh, coming through the chimney and giving presents to all children while they are asleep.
I am no exception. I was told the same tale when young, and held similar anticipations of receiving gifts in that manner. Santa never came visiting me. Sometimes I wondered if it was because my house did not have a chimney. As the years went by, Christmas eventually just became another holiday.
It was only after I became a Christian that I understood the real reason for celebrating Christmas. The reason for me to be joyful is because my Savior is being celebrated. Although we know that Jesus was most likely not born on 25th December, what is more important is that on this occasion, the story of Jesus’ birth is told and remembered.
This often leads to an explanation of why Jesus was on this earth in the first place. God has sent Jesus, His only Son, to be the perfect sacrifice, as an atonement for the sins of all mankind, so that we may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
In recent years, I have come across many who challenge the significance of Christmas. Many claim that it originates from paganistic celebrations and involves similar attributes with worldly practices. Some Christians would even intentionally not get involved in Christmas celebrations or may look upon any Christmas celebrations with disdain. I was initially disturbed with the claims that Christmas originated from festivals where people partook in revelry and various forms of indulgence.
As I ponder over the numerous Christmas activities that I have gone through as a Christian, I see more of the church reaching out to tell the world about what God has done and the reason Jesus had to come to earth, while a large part of the world continued to party without understanding.
In the Bible passage Matthew 9:12-13, we read that Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
For those who have been baffled by the claims of the origin of Christmas, I encourage you to stop standing on the sidelines and watching the world party without understanding. Instead, make good use of this season to preach the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ! Give the world the real reason to celebrate Christmas, for Christmas is not Christmas without Christ in it.
“Dear God, I thank You for sending Your only Son Jesus to come to earth, to die for our sins, so that we may have eternal life. We know that no matter what the world says about Christmas, it does not change the fact that Jesus has died on the Cross and rose again. I pray that You fill our hearts with love and compassion, as we share this Good News during this Christmas season, so that more will come to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and celebrate Christmas for the real reason. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”