Saturday 27 December 2008

Happy Christmas V Happy Holidays?

I have got to say that over here in Ireland we're not really toughed much by this whole debate. However, I noticed by reading your blogs of late that it causes a bit of a stirr in other countries around the world.

Here is my tuppence worth on the subject...

I don't care. For the most part Christmas is about greed, drunkenness, depression, car accidents & death, covetousness (which is idolatry) family rows, wife and husband beatings, debt, jealousy, pressure... The list goes on and on and on.

I celebrated Christmas before God forgave me and I didn't even believe in God! The pressure is dreadful. I once knew a family in Dublin who had five children and were very poor and even though the husband was unemployed the parents put themselves into debt every year to buy expensive gifts for their children. It took them ten months to pay the loan back and then it would start all over again.

Consider this...

Think of the first passover and the original meaning and reason for the killing of the lamb. Now think of the passover where the Jews celebrated God's goodness and deliverance by killing His Son, the Lamb of God!

Think of Christmas and what the meaning should be, to celebrate the goodness and deliverance of God by Him sending His son to us to save us. Now think of Christmas and how we celebrate it, with all it's covetousness. We actually celebrate God by idolising a false god! (covetousness being idolatry)

Every year I struggle at Christmas time, for me and for Sean. I struggle with wanting more for Sean. I struggle with covetousness and also I struggle with trying not to condemn friends, neighbours and Christians who spend a fortune on their kids. I admire people who don't over indulge their children or themselves at this time of the year and try to emulate them but fail miserably. I struggle with the large presents Sean gets from his relatives. All this and I don't even celebrate Christmas? What encourages me and keeps me going is God's promise that all things works together for my good and His glory, and the hope that next year I will do better.

Of course the new thing now is the recession, and all the good sales that will be on starting today. I know a very godly woman who said she hates going into town to shop as it is just another occasion to sin:(

Anyway, here is a link to 'Principled Discovery' where Dana writes on the whole thing about Christmas/Holidays. It's called 'tis the season to be boycotted and it's good, including the comments left by other bloggers:)

Here is an e mail an American man sent to my pastor after hearing him on our weekly Christian radio programme that is ared every Monday evening.

Pastor Stephen,

Just wanted to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas! Hope all is
well and that Christmas has been a fruitful opportunity to share the true
Gospel with those in Ireland.

I listened to your radio show today. What a great ministry! I will make
this a regular occurrence whenever I can. I "tuned in" a few minutes early
and heard a fair amount of advertisements for local businesses. I noticed
something strange...not once was the word "holiday" substituted for
Christmas. Here, unfortunately, it is a common occurrence to hear holiday
instead of Christmas. Perhaps it's only cultural Christianity and not true
faith, but at least there is a respect for Christmas as an institution.

Thank you so much for allowing me to begin a relationship that will grow

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Heather L. said...

Appreciate your thoughts on Christmas. It is a hard holiday to figure out and discern just what is the proper way to deal with it. I suppose it will be different for everyone. We are blessed to be surrounded by many friends who try not to go overboard, and yet I am still shocked when I see or hear about others who spend like crazy.

Your husband would like our church. We are Reformed Presbyterian and thus don't celebrate Christmas as a church holiday. (Since we operate by the belief that each Sunday we celebrate the Lord's resurrection and that Sunday is the mandated "holiday" to be celebrated each week by Christians.) It is a difficult thing to explain to many, but it means we don't have Christmas services. Many of us still celebrate Christmas, but there are some families who have left it altogether (often those families have come from a Catholic background).

I suppose it is hard to say this all in a short comment -- much better over a cup of tea. :)