Sabbath Thought - Christmas
Today is of course Christmas Day. This is one of only a few holidays that the world as a whole recognizes. What is most interesting, is that only 1/3 of the world claims the title "Christian". This is understandable however when we stop to consider that in the last 40 years Christmas has shifted from a predominately Christian observance to a very secular holiday. It is now promoted and supported because of the money spent giving gifts, throwing parties and the like whether a person is religious or not.
But everything is different this year. No one is talking about whether the Christmas season will be a boom or a bust. COVID-19 has destroyed so much this year and the Christmas buying season is one more fatality. Maybe there are a number of things God is trying to get mankind's attention through this pandemic. Nonetheless, those who do keep Christmas as a religious holiday are willfully ignorant of the symbols and traditions attached to that holiday that are steeped in paganism. They worship the day, not Christ.
What is forgotten in the world's celebration of Christmas is the reason that Christ needed to be born of flesh to begin with. He came to dwell with men (Isaiah 7:14-15) and to be the example of choosing the right things of life; He came to set the stage for God's Kingdom on earth (Isaiah 9:6), qualifying as the ruler (Revelation 11:15) this world desperately needs; and to be the One to implement that government in righteous judgment, wisdom, understanding and might (Isaiah 11:1-5). Christ came so that all mankind would have the opportunity for salvation (1Timothy 2:4). He did not come 2,000 years ago to make all of this happen then, but rather in due time (1 Timothy 2:6) - that is at a time yet to come. Christ's first coming paid the price for our sin (Romans 3:25) so we can be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10, 2 Corinthians 5:18), and His second coming will establish God's Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7) forevermore.
Christ is not in Christmas and He never was. While we wait for the world to be done with its Christmas celebration for one more year, God's people look forward to the wonderful time when true knowledge of Him will spread to the entire world (Isaiah 11:9b, Habakkuk 2:14)! The Son of God that we worship is not a dead Jesus on a cross, and He is not a helpless baby in a manger. Christ will reign without end beside the Father - forever, ruling in love and multiplying peace. That is the message of Christ's physical birth.
By following and yielding to God's instruction - His Truth - we acknowledge being His slave (Romans 6:16). Do we as God's called out one's have the same eagerness and willingness to follow God? While it can be easy to condemn the world for celebrating something like Christmas, are we developing the mind of Christ in us (Philippians 2:5)? Are we doctrinally sound or are we blown about? Do we practice the love of Christ? Do we compromise God's truth with what is convenient to us? Are we faithful to the calling God has given to us?
There is coming a time when the world will reap the consequences of practices based on sin, and we are called to come out of the world and its practices (Revelation 18:4). God gives His people Truth, and that Truth sets them free (John 8:32). The God of the Universe is not a god of lies, deceit, half-truth, misdirection or greed. God will work with the world to understand His plan of salvation in due time, but our time of judgment is now (1 Peter 4:17). Our time is at hand (Mark 1:15), and may we, like Christ, be found doing the will of the Father.
I wish you a truth-filled Sabbath,
25 December, 2020