Q & R – Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? – Greg Albrecht
Q: Should Christians celebrate Christmas? I believe Christ was born, but I haven’t read anything in the Bible that says we should commemorate that event! I don’t see anything wrong with celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, since we know that was in the Spring—but we don’t know the date of his birth. And, according to my research, Christmas seems to be a Roman Catholic invention, not a biblical one—and I tend to view anything coming from Rome with great mistrust.
A: Perhaps we should define the word “Christmas.” For some this word simply means an endless round of parties, concerts, gift giving, decorating, etc. MUST Christians do this? NO. SHOULD Christians do these things? ONLY if these activities are centered in the birth of Jesus Christ. IF THEY ARE NOT, and have no meaning, there is no reason for Christians to feel as if they must be involved in such things. As many Christians remind themselves during that time of the year, when materialism and commercialism can overcome everything, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
However, if by the word “Christmas” we mean the birth of Jesus Christ—the answer is YES. Of course Christians should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Next question—but isn’t it true that we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth?
Answer—yes, that’s true. But we do not need to know the exact date of his birth to celebrate the fact that there was a day, a specific time, when God became flesh for the purpose of saving us.
We are free to choose any time—there is no reason to limit the celebration of the birth of Jesus to December 25, or the month of December for that matter. We can and should remember his birth throughout the year.
Question—is something wrong with celebrating Jesus’ birth, either on December 25, or on December 20, or January 6, or…(pick a date)?
Answer—NO, there is nothing wrong. What is unbelievably wrong is that anyone who presumes to be a Christian would feel justified in failing to acknowledge the fact that he was born, that it was a miracle, that it was and is the hinge of history, that we measure time by that event, etc.
Question—as you note, we know that the resurrection was in the spring—so there is nothing wrong with celebrating Easter or Resurrection Sunday. But we don’t know the exact date, or even season of the year, of his birth. How can we celebrate it?
Answer—many churches celebrate both the second and the first comings (or advents) of our Lord in December. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the Second Coming, even though we have no idea, and are expressly told not to try to find out, predict, or speculate when he will return.