by Dr. Paul Chappell
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Who are you welcoming this Christmas season?
In Cincinnati, Ohio, a judge in December 1999, threw out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of observing December 25 as a federal holiday. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott said in her dismissal of the lawsuit that just as Christians observe Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, non-Christians celebrate the occasion to welcome the arrival of Santa Claus.
Therefore, she said, Christmas cannot be regarded as a holiday that establishes one religious faith above all others in violation of the demand for a separation of church and state enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
The judge used some original poetic verse to make her point, writing:
“Whatever the reason,
constitutional or other,
Christmas is not,
an act of Big Brother.”
How sad that the world sees Christmas as simply a time to welcome in Santa! With so many references to Christ and His birth from so long ago, the world ignores those Him and focuses on the festivities of the season.
While there’s nothing wrong with festivities and the activities of the season, failing to recognize the true meaning of Christmas is failing to see Christ’s reason for coming. God didn’t come to earth to provide a time to bake cookies, hang stockings, and give gifts. He came to die for our sins.
While the world speaks of Santa and other holiday characters, take time to show them the true reason for Christmas. Be bold in your witness for the Lord this season. Tell them of Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and Christ’s birth. Many people are open to talk of the early Christmas story this time of year. Take every opportunity you are given to tell them of God. Let this Christmas be the time you gave someone the gift of salvation.
To learn more about Pastor Chappell's books, Sunday school curriculum, and spiritual leadership resources, please visit strivingtogether.com.
Daily Bible Reading
Ezekiel 40-41 • 2 Peter 3