The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unwanted gift to those who celebrate Christmas. This year is an exceptional one. For most people, there has never been a time when people are unable to celebrate the way they usually do.
Gift-giving is one favourite activity of the season. Although it will still occur in some homes, despite the restrictions on mobility and gatherings, COVID-19 is bound to remain the focus of attention. That is the gift that no one wants!
Lives are being lost, hospitals are bursting with patients, people are losing jobs, vaccines are the talk of the town, and how to rebuild and recover after the pandemic, are hot topics this season. It’s a COVID Christmas.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s a good time for people to pause to think about what they are really celebrating. Although the name “Christ” is included in the spelling, does he really belong in this celebration? If the Bible is the guide for Christians, where in it you find such a celebration or a command to do honour it like people do?
Will Christmas be celebrated in the Kingdom of God? Furthermore, when our Saviour Jesus, the Christ, meets the saints for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev: 19.9), and all the other important happenings that will occur in the new kingdom under divine rule, will Christmas be acknowledged?
Listen to this. If we should go by the scriptures, the celebration of Christmas in the Kingdom of God won’t stand a chance. Why? It is not even mentioned! Most of us are aware that indeed the birth of Christ narrative is told in Matthew and Luke, and foretold in a number of Old Testament books. What is not told is the date of His birth or the celebrations associated with it. Why? The answer is simple.
Christmas is a man-made holiday copied from a pagan festival – worship that God abhors. The Eternal gives us laws, statutes, and ways to worship Him. He gave us his annual or biblical festivals (Lev. 23), not Christmas or Easter. God’s laws go as far back as in the Garden of Eden when He gave His commands to Adam and Eve. One cannot worship God without obeying Him. It’s simple; we cannot honor Him with our lips while our heart is far from Him (Matt. 15.8).
Fact. Jesus never observed His birthday while He was on the Earth, neither did His disciples or His apostles. If Jesus wanted that to be done, surely He would have let us know the day and did it as an example for us to follow. There are some many instances in scripture where it’s noted that certain practices occurred to leave us an example to follow – annual and weekly Sabbaths, Passover, baptism etc. Why would Jesus want us to celebrate His birthday and then hide the day from us? Our God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and would do no such thing.
Fiction. Christmas honours Christ because people take time out to worship Him, express brotherly love towards one another through the exchange of gifts, feeding the poor and coming together for family meals. The reality is all of these actions can be done any time throughout the year, yet it is a common argument used by defenders of this pagan festival, who are clutching at straws to prove that “Christ is in Christmas.” The commercialization of the season has become so outrageous that every year we hear calls for putting Christ back into Christmas. The fact is Christ has never been in it! His name is in the spelling but the Word of God does not sanctify this pagan festival! It is not a holy festival because only God can deem what is holy from what is not.
The pressing question is how did we, as a religious community, get caught up into all these trappings that have drawn millions to genuinely believe they honor God? Stop for a minute! What does the Christmas tree has to do with Jesus’ birth? How does excess drinking and eating honour Christ? Is it a mere coincident that December 25, was also the date use to honour the sun god in the ancient pagan festival known as Saturnalia? How does that fit into Deuteronomy 12: 30-32? Is God pleased when we adore him by following the way some people worship their strange gods? The scriptures are clear. Israel did just that and God said it was an abomination to Him.
It would come as a surprise to many people that when the Kingdom of God is established on the earth, one of the first edicts (“the law shall go forth out of Zion”) that will be enforced will be the requirement for all nations to come up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, one of his seven annual festivals outlined in Lev. 23. Note carefully, not Israel alone, all nations! If we will be required to keep the biblical festivals in the future, why are our pastors and preachers not instructing adherents to the faith to keep these festivals of God as instructed in Lev. 23? Instead, they preach pagan holidays whitewashed and called Christian. Who determines what is holy to God? Man or God? Please don’t call these festivals Jewish. God says these are “my feasts.”
What is the Feast of Tabernacles, you may ask. It’s one of the Old Testament Festivals given by God in Lev. 23 – festivals that God says are his, not Israel’s. “Even these are my feasts,” he says.
Isn’t it quite refreshing to learn that God’s festivals, as outlined in Lev. 23, will be kept in the new kingdom, whereas the pagan festival of Christmas that has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, is not mentioned. The bigger question is: why shouldn’t we be observing these festivals instead of pagan festivals such as Christmas and Easter? How can we honour Christ with pagan festivals yet abandoned his own festivals and call them Jewish. In any case, wasn’t Christ a Jew and didn’t he say “salvation is of the Jews?”
My friends, choose who you will follow this day: God or mammon. Use this opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic to take a serious look at what you are celebrating! For more on this subject, download our FREE booklet FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CHRISTMAS.