Soon enough it’ll be time to break out the ornaments, but there’s more to Christmas than decor.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time of a world covered in white, singing cheery songs and of course, presents.
That’s right. I’m talking about Christmas. But when I say Christmas, I mean the more religious aspect of it.
As fun as caroling and baking cookies can be, there’s a much less material reason to celebrate this holiday.
I’m sure most of you know the story, but for those of you that don’t, allow me to tell you.
As it goes in any of the Gospels of the Bible, the virgin Mary was bestowed a child by an angel, who was to be named Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
When a census was called for the people of the area, Mary and her husband Joseph had to travel to where they came from, which was Bethlehem.
When they got there, they were told there were no rooms left, so they stay in a stable, and that’s where Jesus was born.
Now I know there are some people that say Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25, but for the sake of argument, I’m going to say he was. But what exactly is the moment supposed to represent?
Really, it’s the beginning of salvation for everyone. Jesus goes on to die on the cross for our sins, so the start of his life is the start of that being done for us. I’d say that’s something worth celebrating.
There is however a belief that Christmas is a pagan holiday, which is where the debate comes in on when Jesus was born.
The idea comes from the theory that’s Jesus’s birthday was moved to coincide with the celebrations of the winter solstice, which was being celebrated even before Jesus’s birth.
When it comes to other religions and Christmas, unless you believe in Christ or at the very least simply enjoy getting stuff on what’s considered to be a holy day, you wouldn’t celebrate Christmas.
That means beliefs such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism don’t do Christmas.
But, that doesn’t automatically mean that all Christians celebrate Christmas. In fact, there are several denominations that don’t.
The one you might know is Jehovah’s Witness.
In case you’re not sure who they are, they’re the ones that go door to door handing out bibles and telling people about Jesus Christ.
They’re also typically wearing suits or some other sort of nice clothing.
Contrary to popular belief, although the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas because they believe it has pagan roots, they don’t lecture and condemn people for celebrating either.
It’s just the fact that because there’s no mention of the holiday in the bible, they don’t believe it should be commemorated.
They also don’t celebrate birthdays.
Another denomination similar to Jehovah’s Witness is the Church of Christ.
They also don’t celebrate Christmas, but their reasoning is based more on the lack of evidence in the bible for the holiday.
The church itself is actually heavily rooted in the bible, believing it should only speak on and do things that the bible does.
The last denomination to mention is the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers.
For those that hold this belief, the reason they don’t celebrate Christmas is that to them, every day is a holy day, so there’s really no need to put emphasis on one day in particular.
However, even though both the Church of Christ and Quakers don’t directly celebrate Christmas, it’s not to say there aren’t individuals that do.
Just like anything else, not everyone entirely thinks the same thing, so some members do take part in the festivities that the time of year brings.
Now if you believe more in the stars than Christ, you’ll want to know the astrological connection that exists between astrology and Christmas.
The main example is the star the three wise men followed when they went on their journey to meet Jesus.
Astrology states that it was most likely a cluster of stars and planets, with Jupiter being in the center to make it especially bright.
The other big example comes back to what I said earlier about pagan roots and the winter solstice.
Before Jesus was born and Christianity was adopted as the Roman’s official religion, they often held festivals for other gods.
The most prominent one was known as Saturnalia which celebrated the god of agriculture Saturn.
It was actually a week-long festival ending with the 25th of December due to Julius Caesar changing the day of the solstice.
Once Christianity surpassed the belief in other gods, Jesus’s birthday was marked as the 25th so the day of celebration wouldn’t change.
So I guess from an astrology standpoint, it just made planning convenient.
What’s in the Bible?
While there may not be any direct evidence in the bible for Christmas and when it is, that’s not to say there’s NOTHING in the good book that can’t be used for the time of year.
For instance, there’s Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart does good like medicine.” Or how about James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation nor turning shadow.”
And if nothing else, remember why Jesus died on the cross for us.
1 Timothy 1:15-17: “15 The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Jesse Oakley is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care and spirituality/astrology.
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