I just finished helping my husband and daughter put up the Christmas tree, and I started thinking about what the holidays mean to me. I am a practicing Christian, and I believe that Jesus is my savior, but I also know that December wasn’t really the month of his birth. Sometimes I feel puzzled about those details, but then I read documentation that suggests different months might be the birth month of Christ and that makes me realize nobody is really 100% sure. This issue is a very controversial one in the Christian world, and it’s one I’ve pondered in recent times.
I grew up with Santa Claus and baby Jesus in the manager and other common Christmas traditions. Each year I was dazzled by the twinkling lights and caught up in the hustle and bustle of family and festivity. I looked forward to hanging out around the Christmas tree, and I eagerly anticipated opening presents with my family on Christmas morning. I never considered the true origins of the Christmas holiday–didn’t even know what they were other than Jesus’ birthday–and celebrated in honor of Him. It was always about Jesus in our home and never about anything bad or evil.
I reconnected last year with a friend from high-school, who is also Christian, but she doesn’t believe in celebrating Christmas. I’m fine with that, because people are entitled to their beliefs, but sometimes what she shares bothers me. She’s posted articles about Christmas, explaining their pagan origins and how we could be damaging our kids celebrating the holiday, and how we are all committing huge sins in doing so. I think, Is she really serious? MY Christmas has nothing to do with that stuff.
To be honest, I don’t know what the truth is, I don’t get into religious debates, and I do have questions of my own. I believe in the bible, but I wonder how much misinterpretation is possible over thousands of years and translation. I also know that people talked in code and that meaning changes over time and some words lose significance. I also consider the nature of the bible itself.
How many books of the bible are lost? Why do women play such a servile role in the bible, but marriage is supposed to bring a couple together as one? It’s so confusing, all of it, and there is no question of my Faith in God, but I do question the word of man. I stick to the parts of the bible that focus on God’s love, mercy, and infinite wisdom and believe the 10 Commandments to be a terrific moral compass, but the contradictory and unclear stuff in bible…not so much. If I’m wrong for that, so be it.
I have too many questions just to blindly believe everything.
Until someone gives me real evidence that I’m being a bad Christian by celebrating Christmas (it’s a shame Jesus didn’t have a birth certificate, and this means we’ll never really know), I’ll continue to allow my family to enjoy our traditions. In reality, I don’t see evil in a Christmas tree or a brightly-decorated house; I see people everywhere trying their best to be cheerful during an often-difficult time of year. I know this to be true of myself, and I’ve seen the struggle in others’.
I miss my loved ones who aren’t present at the Christmas dinner table, and I know there are so many who aren’t going to be spending the holidays in a nice place. Most people do have someone or something they miss, millions are homeless or suffering from some other terrible circumstances, and tragedy is an inescapable part of life.
My heart goes out to everyone who’s been a victim of loss, and I help where I can, but there is neverending need for healing and deliverance. I can’t even begin to make a dent in solving the world’s problems.
The only ammunition I have is prayer, and as a Christian, I send those prayers to the ears of God. Until I’m shown otherwise:
Jesus is the reason for the season (in my house, at least).
Happy holiday season, everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow with more adventures.
I’ll conclude Sacred Saturday with a bit of scripture:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
If you’re Christian, what do you feel about the controversy? If you’re of another religion, are there any heavily debated interpretations in your holy books? Tell me in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to read the previous one: We Can All Write.