As we know Jesus was born in the fall, Aug 27th - Sept 9th is as close as historians can narrow it
down to; when was Jesus born, what exactly are we celebrating on Dec 25th?
Have the people been duped by paganism?
This short 14 minute video does a good job of summing up why
we no longer celebrate Christmas. Ber
However, in defense of Christmas and in all respect to those
who DO celebrate Christmas, I find
this man's words make a lot of sense to me. Should I compromise in this journey?
Would Jesus approve of Christmas?
see also www.detailshere.com/trueorigins.htm
The Pagan History of Christmas
By Dr. Joel Ehrlich
of Hebraic Renewal
The Church and much of Judaism is entrenched deep in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion, only today it is referred to as 'culture' or 'traditions.' The seventeenth chapter of the book of Revelation speaks of a mysterious woman who rides a beast. It shows that at the end of the age, most of the earth would be drinking out of her hand. With the excessive compromise that has taken place in Judaism and Christianity, that time has arrived. Her method of intoxication is merriment, festivity, drink, and most of all, materialism. This materialism is the free enterprise, or capitalistic system.
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
All of G-d's people, as well as the secular earth, are guilty of giving in to Babylon's pageantry and paganism. Most Christians and Jews either don't know or care to know the truth of these pagan ties. Christians rationalize that they are worshipping Jesus, while Jews see no harm in Hellenizing their Channukah to spice it up. These people have become drunk from drinking from this ancient mystery cup. They don't even recognize the sign of their drunkenness, which is complacency and indifference. Refusing to heed G-d's call to be sanctified and to come out of Babylon, they express their hypocrisy by refusing to honor G-d's ordained feasts and holidays.
A recent news article from the Scripps Howard News Service states in their article, "Christmas Celebration Crosses All Faiths."
"Christmas remains America's favorite holiday-a religious celebration that transcends the nation's increasingly multicultural society. Eighty-three percent of the adult residents of the United States-including Jews, Muslims and atheists-say they put a decorated tree in their homes. Fifty-nine percent say there is no holiday they love more than Christmas."
What is Christmas and from where did it originate? Yule is the Chaldean name for 'infant' or 'little child.' In ancient Babylon, the 25th of December was known as Yule day or the birth of the promised child day. This was the day of the birth of the incarnate sun, who appeared as a baby child to redeem a world bound in darkness. It was an essential belief of the Babylonian religious system, that the sun god, also known as Baal, was the chief god in a polytheistic system. Tammuz was also worshipped as the god incarnate, or promised baby son of Baal, who was to be the Savior of the world.
It is interesting that a review of the New Covenant Scriptures reveals that no early believers reverenced Yeshua's birth. Instead, as is the Jewish custom of faith, they were told to commemorate his death. [I Corinthians 11:26]
We find in the Catholic encyclopedia that Christmas was not even among the earliest church festivals. It was not until the latter part of the fourth century that the Roman Church began observing December 25th as Jesus' birthday. By the fifth century A.D., the Roman Church ordered the birth of Messiah to be forever observed on December 25th. At the time of this decree, the Roman Church knew full well that the pagan religious cults throughout the Roman and Greek worlds celebrated the pagan sun god, Mithra, on this self same day. This winter festival was known as the Nativity of the Sun. It was also known in the Roman Empire as Saturnalia [another name for sun worship].
Note: In 46 BC, when the Roman "Julian Calendar" was adopted, December 24th was the shortest day of the year. Therefore, December 25th was the first annual day that daylight began to increase. Thus, the origin of the REBIRTH or Annual Birthday of the Invincible SUN.
In accordance with the Roman "Julian calendar," the "Saturnalia" festival appears to have taken place on December 17th; it was preceded by the "Consualia" near December 15th, and followed by the "Opalia" on December 19th. These pagan celebrations typically lasted for a week, ending just before the late Roman Imperial Festival for "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun) on December 25th.
In 1582 AD. Roman Catholic Pope Gregory the XIII caused the current "Gregorian Calendar" to be adopted, in order to eliminate the solar time shift error introduced by the "Julian Calendar."
By December 1582 AD the shortest day of the year had shifted 12 days on the Roman "Julian Calendar" to Wednesday, December 12, 1582.
However, the Original December 25th 'Birth Date' was retained for all pagan Sun gods by the Roman "Saturnalia" and "Sol Invictus" traditions; which were now called the "Twelve Days of Christ Mass."
On the new Roman Catholic Gregorian calendar the shortest annual day was numerically shifted back 10 days to the 22nd of December, where it remains to this day; while the original order of the days of the week remained unchanged.
Therefore, Wednesday, December 12th, 1582 AD, became Wednesday, December 22nd, 1582 AD, and the True Sabbath Day remained unchanged.
Yahweh, the Only True Yahweh, would never have allowed The True Messiah to be born on or near the December 25th birthday period of the pagan Sun gods; during the time in which virgins were sacrificed, murder was commonplace, and orgies the norm. This would be an entirely unacceptable association.
The winter festival was very popular in ancient times, and marked a time of rejoicing and festivity. Much of our present day customs involved in the Christmas season are a direct inheritance of the Roman winter festival of Saturnalia. These days involved gift giving, colored lights to ward off evil spirits, festive meals, and of course, decorated trees.
The present day Christmas tree also goes back to the worship of sacred trees in the ancient Babylonian system. The green evergreen symbolized the incarnate Baal coming to life through the incarnate baby Tammuz. The custom of decorating and worshipping trees spread throughout the known world, with the variety of tree used selected according to the natural growth of each area of the world. The Druids worshipped the oak tree, the Egyptians worshipped the palm tree, while in Rome it was the fir tree.
There are at least ten references in the Bible warning that these green trees were associated with idolatry and pagan worship. Jeremiah 10:1-4 details the Israelites following the very pagan customs practiced today.
"Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O House of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
The reason G-d warns against the worship of the signs of heaven in association with this custom is that it was associated with the worship of the sun.
The very term, Christmas, comes from the sacred Christ-mass, where the Pope in the role of the High Priest of the mystery Babylon religion introduces the people to the concept of trans-substantiation. Using the wine and round wafers to reflect the life of Baal, the sun god, the name of Jesus replaces the ancient pagan custom. The wine and wafers are now said to be the transformation of the actual blood and body of Messiah within the person who ingests them. People, thereby, relive again and again the death and resurrection of the incarnate god.
Israelites performed this same ritual in their worship to the Queen of heaven and the incarnate god Tammuz.
Jeremiah 44:18, 19, 23
18 But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. 19 And when we burned incense to the Queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her without our men. 23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in His law, nor in His statutes, nor in His testimonies, therefore, this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.
It would surprise most Christians to learn that the history of the church is filled with historic battles over these very doctrinal issues. Many of the reformation movements in the church made drastic attempts to get away from these pagan holidays.
Calvin, in 1550, instigated an edict concerning church holidays. A ban was passed against observing various church festivals, which included Christmas. In a tract on the necessity of reforming the church, Calvin exclaimed: "I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that Yahweh disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word."
John Knox, in the Scottish reformation, repeatedly confronted the Catholic Church, contending that true worship must be instituted by G-d, not derived from the traditions of men. At the heart of his argument was an appeal to Torah, especially, references to Deuteronomy 4 and 12, which states that one must not add to nor subtract from G-d's word.
John Knox, History of the Reformation in Scotland, 1950, Vol. 1, page 91 states the following: "That Yahweh's word damns your ceremonies it is evident; for the plain and straight commandment of Yahweh is, 'Not that thing which appears good in thy eyes, shalt thou do to the LORD thy Yahweh, but what the LORD thy Yahweh has commanded thee, that do thou; add nothing to it; diminish nothing from it.' Now unless that ye are able to prove that Yahweh has commanded your ceremonies, this His former commandment will damn both you and them."
The holidays of Christmas and Easter were banned from the Church of Scotland.
David Calderwood [1511-1651], representing the Scottish ministries, asserted in reference to Christmas and Easter: "The Judaical days had once that honor, as to be appointed by Yahweh Himself; but the anniversary days appointed by men have not like honor. This opinion of Christ's nativity on the 25th day of December was bred at Rome."
David Calderwood then exposed the Roman claims made for the 25th of December as the day of Messiah's birth. He argues that the Apostles never ordained it. He said the following: "Nay, let us utter the truth, December-Christmas is a just imitation of the December-Saturnalia of the ethnic [heathen] Romans, and so used as if Bacchus [another name for the sun god], and not Messiah, were the Yahweh of Christians."
George Gillespie [1613-1649], a premier Scottish theologian, wrote in a book published in 1637 called A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies Obtruded Upon the Church of Scotland. "The holidays [reference to Christmas and Easter] take a severe beating on a number of accounts. Sacred significant ceremonies devised by man are to be reckoned among images forbidden in the second commandment in regards to worshipping idols."
The English Puritans fought to ban the worship of Christmas and Easter. They resorted to Galatians 4:8-11, which many Christians have used to say that it is referring to G-d not wanting believers to worship Jewish holidays. However, this is wrong on several accounts:
1. These scriptures are specifically referring to a people brought near to G-d through Messiah, who were former pagans.
2. Apostle Paul himself, as detailed throughout the book of Acts, worshipped the LORD ordained feasts.
3. If we were taking these scriptures as an argument for Messiah doing away with Torah, then this would put it in direct conflict with Yeshua's statement in Matthew 5:17, where he stated he did not come to do away with Torah, nor the prophets.
8 How best then, when ye knew not G-d, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods [obviously referring to pagan heathen practices]. 9 But now, after that ye have known G-d, or rather are known of G-d, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, where unto ye deserve again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years [reference to pagan holidays]. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.
History records that when the Puritans came to power in England, Parliament, in June,1647, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays. In this legislation, they wrote the following: "For as much as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, and other festivals, commonly called holy days, have been here-to-fore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy days, be no longer observed as festivals."
The American Puritan movement took an even stronger stand against these pagan holidays. Samuel Miller, a Puritan and professor of history and church government at Princeton Seminary, stated in 1896 in his book, why Presbyterians reject the holy days of Christmas and Easter. He stated that "the Scriptures were the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and that no rite or ceremony ought to have a place in the public worship of Yahweh, which is not warranted in Scripture. Not only does the celebration of non-biblical holidays lack a scriptural foundation, but the scriptures positively discount it." [Miller, pgs. 65,74]
Presbyterians were not the only ones who maintained a strong stand against Christmas, as there were many other Christians who held to similar convictions. As a matter of fact, the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, stated in a sermon given on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1871, the following:
"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or English; and secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, it's observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority." [C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1971, pg. 697]
Opposition to these church holidays remained in American Presbyterianism through the latter half of the 19th century. Speaking following the Civil War, historian Ernest Trice Thompson wrote the following:
"There was no recognition of either Christmas or Easter in any of the Protestant churches, except the Episcopal and Lutheran. For a full generation after the Civil War, the religious journals of the South mentioned Christmas only to observe that there was no reason to believe that Jesus was actually born on December 25th; it was not recognized as a day of any religious significance in the Presbyterian Church" [Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians In the South, 1973, Vol. 2, pg. 434.]
FSCG Note: Alabama was the USA State to recognize Christmas, and did not do so until 1836. ["Tidbits," Cheyenne, Wy. 82007, Burchett Publishing, Issue #271 ]
It was not until the turn of the 19th century that various Christmas customs began appearing in Presbyterian churches. There began to be reports of: 1) Frivolities like Saint Nicholas in children's Sunday schools. 2) Use of Christmas trees and other festivities.
The appearance of Easter and Christmas in the official calendar of the Southern Presbyterian church did not actually occur until the late 1940s and 1950s, as a work of growing apostasy in the church. Even so, as late as 1962, the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland stated that they rejected the celebrations of Christmas and Easter [History of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 1893-1970, pg. 383].
Christmas has clearly brought an infusion of paganism into the church that was initially prohibited among all of G-d's people.
II Corinthians 6:14-18 states
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Messiah with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of G-d with idols? For ye are the temple of the living G-d; as G-d hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their G-d, and they shall be My people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the LORD Almighty.
It is certainly clear from all that we have read, that an end time apostasy has come upon both Jews and Gentiles. Both have strayed far from the original precepts of the faith, and there will be a heavy accounting before the LORD for this. These holidays represent only part of the great apostasy that has come upon G-d's people in the latter days. They cumulatively fulfill what are known as the latter day prophesies that predict a great apostasy before the coming of Messiah. G-d is calling for both Christians and Jews to come out of their compromised faith and return to their original calling, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
to Articles Page
Christmas is a holiday shared and
celebrated by many religions.
It is a day that has an effect on the entire world.
To many people, it is a favorite time of the year involving gift giving,
parties and feasting. Christmas is a holiday that unifies almost all of
The spirit of Christmas causes people to decorate their homes and
churches, cut down trees and bring them into their homes, decking them
with silver and gold.
In the light of that tree, families make merry and give gifts one to
When the sun goes down on December 24th, and darkness covers the land,
families and churches prepare for participation in customs such as
burning the yule log, singing around the decorated tree, kissing under
the mistletoe and holly, and attending a late night service or midnight
What is the meaning of Christmas? Where did the customs and traditions
You, as a Christian, would want to worship the Lord in Spirit and in
truth, discerning good from evil.
The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of
Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that
Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken
from many cultures and nations.
The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the
Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.
This was done long before the birth of Jesus.
It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight
began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun
These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days
later as the new-born and venerable sun.
Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving
and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of
Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in
In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of
the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded
as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.
Witches and other pagans regarded the red holly as a symbol of the
menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, also known as Diana.
The holly wood was used by witches to make wands.
The white berries of mistletoe were believed by pagans to represent
droplets of the semen of the sun god.
Both holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to
invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed,
causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.
These customs transcended the borders of Rome and Germany to the far
reaches of the known world.
The question now arises: How did all of these customs find their way
into contemporary Christianity, ranging from Catholicism to
Protestantism to fundamentalist churches?
The word "Christmas"itself reveals who married paganism to Christianity.
The word "Christmas" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "Mass.
The word "Mass" means death and was coined originally by the Roman
Catholic Church, and belongs exclusively to the church of Rome.
The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and the
distribution of the "Host", a word taken from the Latin word "hostiall"
In short, Christmas is strictly a Roman Catholic word.
A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every
case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism
of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the
number of people under their control.
In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures, "Bring
your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian
sounding titles and names to them.
When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and
other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the
paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.
These reformers left Christmas intact.
In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common
people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to
discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in
The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed
this holiday as witchcraft.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began
to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.
We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its
true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same
things are going on.
As the Bible clearly states in Jeremiah 10:2-4, "Thus saith the Lord,
learn not the way of the heathen; and be not dismayed at the signs of
heaven. For the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the
people are vain. For one cutteth a tree out of the forest. The work of
the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and with
gold. They fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not."
So, what is wrong with Christmas?
1. To say that Jesus was born on December 25th is a lie! The true date
is sometime in September according to the Scriptures.
2. Trees, wreaths, holly, mistletoe and the like are strictly forbidden
as pagan and heathen! To say that these are Christian or that they can
be made Christian is a lie!
3. The Lord never spoke of commemorating his birth but rather commanded
us to remember the sacrifice of His suffering and death, which purchased
Think about it! Can we worship and honor God by involving ourselves with
customs and traditions, which God Himself forbade as idolatry? Can we
convince God to somehow "Christianize" these customs and the whole
pretense and lie of Christmas, so we can enjoy ourselves? Can we obey
So what is right about Christmas? 1. Nothing!
For more information and documentation contact:
Last Trumpet Ministries International
PO Box 806
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Jesus Approve Of Christmas?
Dec 16, 2017 by Rob Pue
Most of the Christian world will soon be celebrating the Christmas holiday. Some, however, will not, and in what I view as a wrong and self-righteous spirit, will actually CONDEMN anyone who does as a heathen, pagan or heretic. The debate over Christmas is one that has gone on for centuries. Now, I understand, there ARE well-meaning, sincere and faithful Christians who choose to NOT observe the holiday because they believe it is wrong. So let’s briefly investigate that as we ask the question: "would Jesus approve of Christmas? Or does He hate it?"Some say that Christmas began with the sun worshipers in the time of Nimrod at the Towel of Babel. Later, it coincided with the Roman Feast of the Birth of Sol, the sun god. Those who stand against Christmas will tell you the early church never celebrated the birth of the Savior, but that in the fifth century, it was made a "Christian" holiday by the apostate Church, as a way to make the church more appealing to the worldly. We’re told even the name, Christmas, means a Roman Catholic "Mass of Christ."Other nay-sayers will bring up the idea of the Christmas tree, and quote Jeremiah 10, "Learn not the way of the Heathen . . . For the customs of that people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not…" Does this describe a Christmas tree?Still others will bring up the idea of giving gifts, and declare that they cannot, in good conscience, celebrate Christmas because at Christmas we give gifts to ONE ANOTHER, rather than to God. So, they assert, this gift-giving is not honoring to the Lord. Further, the commercialism of Christmas entices our selfishness, greed and lust. So, they say, Christmas could never be an acceptable way to worship the Lord.And of course there are those who bring up the fact that Santa Claus is not real… but rather a fictional character derived from Saint Nicholas. Some will even claim St. Nicholas is simply another name for Satan.If you choose to abstain from Christmas, that is your choice, and you are free to do so. The celebration of Christmas is NOT mentioned in Scripture, you’re right. We are not commanded to observe it. When it comes right down to it, in Romans 14 we read, "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Yes, God gives us that liberty, and as Christians, EVERY day should be holy as unto the Lord.But what if we DO celebrate Christmas?? Does partaking in this holiday forever brand us as heathens and pagans?? Must we repent of years of merry-making at Christmas time? Does the Lord, as some will loudly declare, truly despise Christmas and the celebration of it? Let’s use some common sense.First of all, Scripture makes it very clear that God looks first and foremost upon the heart, upon our intentions. The vast majority of people I?know are Christians, and the vast majority of them DO celebrate Christmas. In doing so, not a single one of them does so to honor Nimrod or the sun god Sol. Not one.Further, while I do have some Catholic friends, most of my friends and all of my family are protestants… and we all celebrate Christmas. Does this mean we are actually worshipping the Roman Papacy, as some accuse?? Of course not. We worship with sincere hearts, in spirit and in truth, and our faith remains in Christ alone… not a sun god…. not Nimrod…. not the Pope.What about the dreaded Christmas tree? Isn’t THAT proof that Christmas is for heathens? Read the Scripture. It is talking about making for oneself an idol out of wood — not decorating a Christmas tree. For goodness’ sake, the Lord Jesus had not even been born into this world yet, nor the thought of "Christmas" as a holiday even considered in the days that Jeremiah penned those words.In my family, we decorate a Christmas tree every year. We hang pretty things on it, including craft items our kids made in school and church while they were growing up. Each ornament contains a family memory. The lights of the tree, like the lights on homes, businesses and street corners are not symbols of satan. They are lights, people. They’re pretty. They’re colorful and bright at a time of year that otherwise can be cold, lifeless and dull. Yes, we have a tree. It smells great. It looks pretty, and yes, we put presents beneath it. But in all my years, we’ve never yet bowed down to it to worship it as an idol.And what about the giving of gifts to one another, rather than to God? What would Jesus say about that? Once again, as in all things, we need to look upon the heart, the intention behind all that we do.Friends, I?love Christmas. I?always have. Certainly the holiday can — and has been — corrupted in many ways. For some today, it is purely a secular celebration, an overindulgence in materialism, gluttony and spending. That’s sad. But that is not the Christmas I?know.Whether it began this way or not, in our family, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, we know He wasn’t born on December 25th. But that’s the day we observe as Christmas. In Titus we read, "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain." Indeed, Christians are great at fighting, accusing and demeaning one another, and that is a shame. That is not how the Lord would have us to live as the Body of Christ. Rather, let our hearts be pure and our intentions honorable. Why must we forever argue and accuse over foolish things that only cause hurt and division within the body of Christ?I love the songs about the birth of Jesus. I think it would be great to sing them all year long! But reserving the sacred hymns of Christmas for this time of year makes this time of year special, and more endearing. I guess my favorite would have to be "O Holy Night." What a wonderful song of praise!I love the lights and decorations around town, the smell of pine needles, the warmth of a glowing fire in the fireplace. And I?love taking time to think of each of my loved ones, one by one, considering what they would like… thinking of ways I?can bless them. If I don’t get a single present under the tree for myself, that’s fine with me. I?just love giving gifts and blessing others. It blesses my heart far more than receiving things for myself.And contrary to the thinking of those who would despise Christmas and dismiss it as pagan, in reality, today it is the PAGANS THEMSELVES who want to do away with Christmas. It is the heathen that try to stamp it out. It is the atheists who demand no one utter the words "Merry Christmas," because to do so is so horribly offensive. THEY are the ones trying to stop Christmas from coming…because, they argue, it is TOO CHRISTIAN, and though they say they do not believe in God, the truth is, they hate Him, and THAT is why they seek to silence any mention of Christmas!But Christmas is here to stay, my friends. And I am thankful that it is. In a world where for 364 days of the year we are all so self-absorbed, so consumed with the worries and cares of this life, I?thank the LORD for Christmas… for what it has come to stand for — the birth of our Savior — His gift of grace, mercy and lovingkindness, GOD WITH US…and for the joyous traditions we celebrate each year as we, too, show grace, mercy and lovingkindess one to another.As a child growing up in my parents’ home, we always had Christmas. We would decorate the tree as a family. And I?remember each year we’d get the Sears Wish Book catalog… filled with wonderful toys and fun things we could dream of. I remember rehearsing for weeks for the Sunday School Christmas program, and then the night it finally came, after the program everyone would get a bag of Christmas candy and a popcorn ball, a gift from the church. And what joy when the last day of school came before Christmas break.My parents first had three girls and then three boys. I’m number five… the middle child among the boys. I don’t remember a time when my sisters lived at home… they had all moved out and lived in other towns by the time I?came along. But as a kid growing up, I?recall the anticipation of having all my sisters — and their husbands — come home for Christmas. My Mom was the best cook ever. I?know most people think that, but in my case it really was true! We always had a wonderful feast, and of course, the Christmas cookies and treats, recipes no one could ever duplicate. I?remember going in to town and always finding a way to make my meager piggy-bank savings come out to equal a gift for everyone on my list. Taking my treasures home, and wrapping them with eager anticipation, imagining how much my Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters would each love the simple gift I?had chosen for them.Over the years, Christmas has changed. Both my parents are gone now, and the old house is no longer our gathering place. In fact, all of MY children are now grown and out on their own too… so MY house is where Christmas happens now. It’s a beautiful time of year. Its a time of giving, a time of sharing, a time of loving one another and of being together. School, jobs, careers… these may take us far away from one another… but we can always return HOME at Christmas time.It’s a wonderful blessing, Christmas. It can also be a very sad time for those who have no family and few, or no loved ones left in the world. And it is for ones such as this that Christians reach out and provide for even the least of these. Christian organizations sponsor Christmas meals, gather gifts for poor children, comfort the widows and orphans, and even provide a special gathering place to celebrate, so that no one need be alone on Christmas. Now, I ask you: do you not think Jesus would approve?Sometimes, I’m afraid, we simply take ourselves too seriously. Now, I didn’t say we take SCRIPTURE too seriously, one could never do that. But sometimes, in our desire to be accepted by God, we want to make sure we don’t do anything wrong… we want to be pleasing to Him, we want to make sure we take no missteps. An admirable desire. But friends, Christ came, as a humble human baby, born in a manger, He lived to minister, teach and serve, and He died to save mankind from death and hell. Yes, we must strive to be Christlike in all we do. We must live by the Word of God. But we can never earn our way to heaven. I fear that is what some are trying to do, who abstain from Christmas. They want to suffer for the Lord, by not taking part in the celebration… choosing instead to perhaps just be silent, read Scripture alone, denying themselves any part of anything that resembles "fun." AND pointing the finger of doom toward any who dare worship the sun god or take part in a "Christ Mass."WHAT does that accomplish?? Who, I ask you, is blessed… by THAT? What would Jesus do? There are ways to observe Christmas that the Lord will honor and bless… and of course, as in all things, there are ways we can corrupt it. It’s not about the stuff. Its not about Black Friday. Its not about getting… It is a time to come together, to come HOME again, to reunite with those we love. Its about cherished relationships. Its about giving and its about blessing others as Jesus has blessed us. In this world of broken relationships, dysfunctional and fractured families, the Lord knows, we NEED this. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year… May the Lord be ever present in your homes, and in your hearts this Christmas season, and for always.