Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How Would Jesus Celebrate Christmas

What Would Jesus Do this Christmas?
Maybe a silly question. I'm really not sure.

How did Jesus celebrate the day he was born?

He likely cried, ate, slept, and ____ like most babies do.

How did Jesus celebrate the rest of his birthdays?

From what I've read the Jews of Jesus' day did not celebrate birthdays.

What about the early church? Did they celebrate birthdays?

Not according to Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 - 254 AD).

Origen had evidently some similar thought before him when he insists that "of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below" (Origen, "in Levit.", "Horn. VIII", in Migne P.G., XII, 495).

It seems for the first couple of centuries of the early church birthday celebrations were a thing for sinners.

So I think it is safe to conclude Christmas was not celebrated by Jesus or even the early church.

How should we celebrate Christmas?

Since we can't follow Jesus or the early church on this one, what should we do? We could boycott Christmas all together... that would be odd wouldn't be?

Or we can chose to find ways to honor and worship our Lord Jesus, even on a day set aside with an overload of crazy traditions.

Shopping, gifts, Scripture reading, hospitality, trees, candles, baking, turkey, lights, tinsel, singing, snowmen, chocolate, nuts, acts of charity, santa, elves, reindeer...

Consider which traditions are worth making your own. And like the other 364 days of the year worship God and share God's love with others.


Al said...

Interesting understanding of Jews and birthdays. In a way, that certainly helps explain why some theologians figure that the birth narratives weren't part of the first versions of Matthew and Luke.

Meanwhile, how do we celebrate the fact that this guy Jesus spent years showing us what God is really like? Maybe it's by following his example, every day of the year. Being gracious, loving, caring, affirming, sharing, etc. Helping people when they are down. Bringing the life of God into their situation. Gently guiding people into wholeness.

Or maybe it's by screaming blue murder when people say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". Or by racking up 100's or 1000's of $$$ debt in succumbing to advertising.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Al... agreed!