As Christmas Day, December 25, approaches and the profound “spirit” of Christmas takes hold, people of all faiths and none gather together to enjoy the holiday season and exchange “Merry Christmas” greetings, gifts, food, and cheer.
Every year, we hear people reminding us not to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. In spite of this, how many people understand what Christmas is all about? Although 94% of Americans celebrate Christmas, 15% of Americans read the Bible’s story of the birth of Christ as part of their Christmas customs, according to a poll released by the American Bible Society.
- 1 What Is The Meaning Of Christmas?
- 2 What Is The Story Of Christmas In The Bible?
- 3 Is Christmas Biblical?
- 4 What Is The True Meaning Of Christmas?
- 5 Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is The Meaning Of Christmas?
Christmas is the Christian holiday commemorating Jesus’ birth. The origin of the English name Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is rather recent.
The purpose and true meaning of Christmas traditions vary. For instance, we exchange gifts because God gave us his Son, the greatest free gift of all. Additionally, three wise men came to see Jesus and present him with presents.
What Is The Story Of Christmas In The Bible?
Luke 2:4–19 is where you’ll find the Christmas story in the Bible. It begins with Joseph leaving Nazareth in Galilee and traveling to Judea, specifically Bethlehem, David’s town. Mary, who had promised to marry him, was now pregnant. And while they were there, she gave birth to her first child, a son. Since they had nowhere to stay, she wrapped him in clothes and laid him in a manger.
And shepherds lived in the adjacent pastures, watching their flocks by night. They were horrified when an angel of the Lord came before them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them.
But the angel reassured them, “Be not afraid. I have some fantastic news that will make everyone happy. A savior has been born to you today in the city of David; he is Jesus Christ, the Lord. An infant wrapped in clothes and reclining in a manger is a symbol.
At that moment, with the angel, many heavenly armies came, praising God and proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to mankind, on whom his favor falls.
The shepherds agreed, “Let’s journey to Bethlehem and witness this event that has happened, which the Lord has informed us about,” after the angels left them and ascended into heaven. They quickly located Mary, Joseph, and the infant in the stable. People were astounded by the shepherds’ account of the baby Jesus when they informed others about what they’d seen and heard.
Is Christmas Biblical?
The quick answer is no. The Bible does not use the word “Christmas” or a specific day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
God’s Commandment In The Old Testament
Some Christians worry that God issued extremely explicit commandments in the Old Testament about how to celebrate festivals and that they should not participate in other cultures because of this. God did, in fact, order Israel to observe some festivals and forbid them to participate in other forms of worship.
To celebrate Christ’s arrival, we may now focus on his birth, death, and resurrection. Some Christians also use Colossians 2:16–17 to argue that Christians should not celebrate pagan holidays. To be clear, this passage of Scripture in no way forbids Christians from celebrating the birth of Christ and the Christmas story, so long as they do it in a way that brings glory to God.
Jesus Was Not Born On December 25th
Additionally, the fact that Christ was probably not born in December raises doubts. Therefore, why should we even bother to celebrate his birth on December 25th? When was Jesus born?
The correct response is that we should dedicate a special day to remembering and giving thanks to God for bringing his one and only Son to Earth. Sending Jesus as a free gift of love in the shape of a newborn is a great way to commemorate the true meaning of Christmas.
Biblical Reason For Celebrating Christmas
A large number of Christians, nevertheless, do celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Bible verses like Matthew (1:18–25) and Luke (1:43–52 and 2:21–25) give scriptural support for their joy.
The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would have a son through the Holy Spirit and name him Jesus. Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, receives a similar word from the Lord.
A host of angels then began celebrating the mighty God in the world, and the Lord appeared, sending an angel to announce to shepherds watching their flocks that the long-awaited savior had been born. The shepherds then go to see Jesus for themselves, where he is lying in a manger, and return to proclaim the good news to their neighbors with great joy.
About two years after Jesus’ birth, the real Christmas story of men from the East arrived with gifts too valuable to be born unopened. You may read about this in Matthew 2:1–12.
Christmas is not mentioned in the Bible. However, many people involved in Christ’s birth are praising God and hosting a party to celebrate the birth of the new king and the promise of eternal life.
Even though this is not “Christmas” in the traditional sense, the Bible reveals that the birth of Christ Jesus was honored and celebrated by both angels and humans. If God came to dwell among us, then, as Christians, shouldn’t we celebrate that truth?
Neither the apostles nor the early church leaders are shown in the New Testament as celebrating Christ’s birth. Instead, they are celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection via the Lord’s Supper. This is due to the fact that, historically and culturally, funerals were more commonly celebrated than births.
Although the Bible does not mention the true meaning of Christmas, it is biblical to commemorate Christ’s first coming and birth. Upon hearing the word of Jesus’ birth, shepherds worshiped God and spread the good news that the long-awaited Messiah had finally arrived in the world.
What Is The True Meaning Of Christmas?
Jesus was born so that he might atone for our sins. To prevent the eternal separation of humanity from God, God sacrificed his one and only Son. Jesus died as the atonement for our sins. We would all perish apart from Jesus because of our sins.
As a result of Adam and Eve, the first humans God created, we all have a sinful bent. Jesus, who is both God and man, was born into the world to save humanity.
Jesus, as the only son of God, also gave us the promise of redemption and eternal life when he came. The true meaning of Christmas may be derived from his birth only because of his death. For 33 years, Jesus lived free from sin on our behalf so that he might be the spotless lamb sacrificed to pay for our transgressions.
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
Indeed, many customs we associate with Christmas Day and the holiday season have pagan roots. Nevertheless, the Christmas traditions Christians have adopted, such as exchanging gifts, hanging stockings, or telling children stories about Santa Claus, have been redeemed by commemorating the significance of Christ’s birth.
Christians should exercise discretion when celebrating Christmas, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the holiday. While it’s true that when the wise men found Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a barn years ago, they did not think that this would be how modern people would celebrate this occasion, it still shouldn’t stop us from honoring traditions.
Keep in mind that the Bible in no way mandates the observance of Christmas. If you do want to keep celebrating Christmas, remember that worshiping and celebrating the birth of our Lord can and should happen every day of your life, not only on December 25th.
The Christmas season is an excellent opportunity for prayerful contemplation on the major tenets of the Christian faith and the gift of eternal life. It’s also a cause for celebration. Christmas is a time for Christians to rejoice in God’s unending love for the world by commemorating the birth of the Christ child.