1 Peter 3:15 says "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready ALWAYS to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
All through life, people are going to question us. Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you do the things you do? Why are you different? And we need to have an answer ready ALL the time. So here are eight of the reasons why I celebrate Christmas.
1. Christmas is when I celebrate Christ's birth. Without his birth, there would be no cross, no empty tomb, and no redemption for us sinners. No, the Bible doesn't mention Christmas, but it does tell us the events surrounding Christ's birth. Everything in the Bible is there for a reason, and since God shares with us the story of Jesus' birth, we need to know it. Why would we celebrate are own birthdays and yet not celebrate Christ's? HIS birthday is the most important birthday in history. It ought to be remembered.
I know that December 25th is probably not the day Christ was born. But since the Bible doesn't tell us a day that He was born, we don't need to know the exact day. What we do need to to, is remember it. All through the Scriptures, God commands us to remember things. In Numbers 15 He told the people to sew fringes onto their clothes to remember His commandments, in Joshua He told them to build a pile of rocks to remember what God had done for them. ALL through Scripture, we are commanded to remember. When Israel had something big that they needed to remember, (like their time in bondage and God's deliverance,) they would often have a feast/holiday to help them remember it. I celebrate Christmas to remember Christ's birth.
2. I celebrate Christmas to show the world that I believe in Jesus. Have you ever noticed that the 'world' hates Christmas? Oh, they may like parts of it, but they hate the REAL reason I celebrate Christmas. They hate the baby in the manger. The stores that are banning Christmas/Christmas carols/Merry Christmas, and other Christmas things don't have a problem with winter holidays. They have a problem with the baby in the manger, they have a problem with a CHRISTmas. After all, if that baby in the manger REALLY was God's Son, then that means there is a God, and if there is a God, then they're accountable to Him.
When we as Christians celebrate Christ at Christmas time and put out our manger scenes, it reminds the world of something they're trying to forget. And as 1 Timothy 4:12 says, we're supposed to be examples to the world of what believers are supposed to be like.
"Let your light so shine before men . . ."
3. Christmas is an AMAZING time to share the Gospel! I know many people celebrate Christmas and don't have a clue who Jesus is. They see the lights, the holly, the presents, Santa Clause, and the amazing shopping deals, and they see nothing of Christ. Yet despite that, what other time of the year can you find so many Christian things in secular stores? Even secular stores sell manger scenes. You can't tell me that no one ever asks questions because of that.
Unsaved people do see the manger scenes and they're often more willing to go to church at Christmas time.
At Christmas time, people send Christmas cards to everyone they know, including unsaved family and friends. How hard is it to include a gospel tract? At Christmas, people are more open to gifts, and you can give co-workers and neighbors plates of cookies with a gospel tract.
Sometimes, some of my friends and I wrap up DVD's that share the gospel, and hand them out door to door. Most people love being given a gift! What better time than Christmas to give them the gospel?
Mark 16:15 commands us to "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
The Shepherds celebrated Christmas in the right way. They took the time to kneel before the baby in the manger, and then they went and preached it abroad.So, Christmas is a time when people are more open to the gospel, and since we're commanded to preach the gospel, we should use the opportunities that we have to share Christ.
The Baby in the manger is WORTH sharing!
4. Christmas is a time to show our families how much they mean to us. When the wise men came to honor Jesus, they brought him gifts. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves how blessed we are to have family, and if we're not making any sacrifices for them, we're going to have a hard time fully appreciating them. Christmas offers so many opportunities to give of our time, our energy and our money to help our families, and as Acts 20:35 says "...It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Throughout the year, we can make time and opportunities to bless and give to our families, but at Christmas time, there seems to be even more opportunities to bless them and show them how much we appreciate them. And as we study Jesus coming to earth and the events that surrounded that, we see so many gifts being given. It's only natural that Jesus' humble and giving spirit should make us want to share with other's what God has blessed us with.
A time for giving!
5. Christmas provides opportunities to learn from older family members and their pasts. The Scriptures are very clear that we should learn from our elders and our past.
Deuteronomy 32:7 says, "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee."
Proverbs 12:15 says "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise."
At Christmas time, there is often many hours spent with family. Older family members often love to share from their past. Christmas is an amazing time to get the counsel of elder family members who are normally too busy to share.
6. Christmas is a time to reach out to others. Whether it's extended family members, or total strangers, we often come in contact with hurting people over Christmas. When Jesus showed his love by coming to earth to die for us, he gave us an example of how we ought to love one another. You probably all have someone in your life that you try to avoid. Christmas can make it easier to overcome our fears and approach them with Christ's love. Many people struggle at Christmas to overcome past hurts. Over Christmas we often spend time with relatives that we may not see as often. We may have the opportunity to share Christ's love even with saved people. Everyone knows that the world is full of hurt. Life is hard, and Christmas is a time to declare to the hurting that even when life is hard, God is good! Mark 7:37 says "...He hath done all things well:..." Even Christians struggle with the hurts from the past, but we can overcome hurts and help others overcome their's through Christ's love!
7. Christmas is a time of JOY! Of course the Bible talks a lot about joy and rejoicing, we're supposed to rejoice all the time! But sometimes we forget that we're supposed to rejoice ALWAYS. Then, a simple thing, like a baby in a manger, reminds us of how much reason we have to rejoice. I mean think about it. The God who created us, became one of us. The God who reigns over ALL left his throne, not only to be born on earth, but to be born in a lowly stable. Look around your home . . . you have so much more than Jesus allowed Himself to have when He came. We have a 'Blessed Hope!' 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!" We have something to REJOICE about! Christmas is a good reminder for us to 'Rejoice Evermore!'
8. Christmas keeps us from getting selfish. Now I know some people will say the opposite. When your focus is on the presents, you will probably get selfish, but when your focus is on what God did for us, it will keep you humble. Remember Ebeneezer Scrooge? Scrooge wouldn't donate to a charity because he 'couldn't afford to make people merry.' I think we as Christians can't afford NOT to help other people. Throughout the year, we have our job, our family, our church, our life, and it's easy to focus on those things. But at Christmas, often our eyes are opened to the needs of others. When we're serving others with Christ like love, it takes the focus off of us and puts it on the poor and hurting. After all, didn't Jesus come to heal the broken hearted? Didn't He spend time with the poor and sick? We should follow Christ's example not only on Christmas, but every day of the year. Yet out of all the year, Christmas is the time where we become the most aware of the needs of those around us.
Proverbs 19:17 "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again."
1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
These are but a few of the reasons I celebrate Christ's birth, and I do think Ebeneezer Scrooge's nephew, Fred, sums it up nicely.