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Rev. Joseph Oloimooja
By Rev. Joseph Oloimooja, PastorChrist the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
According to Archbishop Ussher, Christ was born around 4 B.C. What day was Jesus born? We don't know nor does Scripture reveal this date.
So, the date selected as Christmas (December 25th by the Gregorian calendar) was probably not the date Jesus was born. The issue, though, isn't about the actual date, but about taking time to remember Christ's entrance into the world.
There are criticisms from skeptics and criticisms from Christians. Some people have even suggested to me that Christmas was evil and we shouldn't partake in it. What follows is my personal view, not some official AiG position, but I note the Bible says in Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." If we give thanks and honor God in what we do (Ephesians 5:15-21), then how can it be evil?
Some have reminded me that the day Christmas is celebrated was born out of a Roman pagan holiday. Then, I remind them that we should honor and celebrate God on every day of the year. Why should we, as Christians, refuse to celebrate God on this day? We can serve God on any day and at any time.
In fact, the Bible encourages this in Psalm 86:12, "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." ‘Forever' includes the day we celebrate Christmas.
Some have reminded me of the decorated trees in Jeremiah 10:1-6. Then, I remind them that it wasn't the tree that was sin, but the hearts of those who used them to honor false gods. If they had done it to honor God, then the outcome would have been different. If someone honors God with a decorated tree (as opposed to false gods), then how can it be sinful?
Some have reminded me that Christ never told people to honor His birth with a holiday. I remind them that Christ never forbade it either. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not here to force anyone to celebrate Christmas. But, there is no reason to forbid anyone from honoring God on this day by remembering Jesus' birth.
For those honoring God in a special way, this holiday season please remember that Christmas should be a time when we remember that Jesus came to earth to save us from Adam's sin.
Christmas should be a time when we recall that God became lower than the angels to be born, live, suffer and die for us. Christmas should be a time for us to remember that we, as Christians, have an obligation to leave the comforts of our everyday life to help those less fortunate, just as Jesus did for all of us.