Almost every year since my mother passed away in 1998, the tradition of "Christmas" as we call it, has become more bitter over time. Even as a child there were only a couple of Christmas' I remember distinctly - one being the year both my brother and I, received pet hamsters. A live animal, a pet, something to love, and take care of...another living being. And the other, was the year I received an electric organ, something I learned to play on my own and enjoyed immensely. I way of expression, that as a young kid I found difficult to do, at least in the ways accepted by my peers, family members, even myself at times. But all those other Christmas' ?? I can't remember, nor any gifts that are long since gone, old, broken, clothes that are to small, toys that lost their appeal. I remember nothing.
When my mother died, the reality of "tradition" became clear - it was in fact "tradition". Somehow something was intertwined with "tradition" that made repeating it bitter, useless, meaningless... but yet so many still hold onto it... I can't comprehend why.
God has had much to say about tradition:
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1-2 Be imitators of me as I am of Christ, now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.
(The manmade tradition of Christmas is not biblical).
Matthew 15:6 He need not honor his father; so for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
Matthew 15:3 He answered them: "And what do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?"
1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.
Matthew 23: 1-3 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples; "The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do. For they preach but do not practice.
(wow isn't that the "church" today? which says the majority aren't the true Church, the True Bride of Christ).
Do I care if others celebrate this holiday with its roots in paganism? No, and while I don't want to offend anyone with this post, the truth of it is, it has absolutely no biblical support, is not ordained by God, and I can't hardly believe God in any way blesses it, in the least. While many believe that an increase in suicides take place during this time, that is a myth. Typically suicide rates increase during spring and early summer (perhaps this is when the reality of the debt incurred during December, hits everyone?).
Romans 14: 1-23 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
This scripture says that I should not condemn or judge others for what it is they do - and likewise, nor should I for choosing to take this stance on a manmade tradition, that no longer has meaning to me. You see it was always said we were honoring God, remembering Christ' birthday (although much research and evidence suggests HE WAS NOT born on this day, which we call His birthday)... but the reality is, we never did honor God, or Christ or anything He did or didn't do. You don't honor God by giving gifts to others, especially if doing so causes you to go in debt, or even worse, if it takes food, shelter and clothing from others who so desperately need it. We honor ourselves, our ability to buy this thing or that thing, we become gluttonous this time of year in so many ways. When people say "Merry Christmas" - neither the person saying or having it said to them, most often has no thought of Christ..
I am guilty of it... I feel guilty of it, and part of me hates it. What great service are we truly doing when we tell kids a lie regarding a white bearded man who wears a red suit, that gives gifts if we are good? Its sounds good, is fun, feels good, is exciting and magical.... but the bottomline is, its still a lie. What does that say about us? But its Christmas Tim, you say....but that doesn't justify it, make it right, or line up with anything God has provided us in His written Word.
The tradition of Christmas (granted) is something quite a bit different than it probably was 100 years ago - just log onto Youtube and do a search for Black Friday Madness, or some popular limited quantity product that parents are literally fighting to secure for their kid who absolutely must have who absolutely doesn't need.
So in conclusion, every year, this topic weighs heavy on my mind - there is pressure from the world, from family, friends, from people I don't know... to celebrate this mass tradition we call Christmas. Part of me hates it - most of me in fact. The part I hate the most.. is that we call this, something related to God, honoring God, remembering God, celebrating God - when the Truth is thats a big fat lie. We honor ourselves, we honor each other, but we hardly honor God. I am so reminded of this scripture and I realize how very frightening the reality of it is...
Matthew 7:21-2321 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’