Why Do Christians Celebrate Christmas, a Pagan Festival

Without any idea of Theology, of whatsoever kind, it is very funny for anyone to look at the cloned words “Christ” and “Mass” and believe that they have any relationship with Paganism. “Christ” obviously refers to the Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world and “Mass”, is a Catholic Religious rite that re-enacts the love of God to the world in offering His only Son for the redemption of man – the type of love that is unimaginable to the limited and selfish faculties of humanity. These are the two words that combine to form the word Christmas. None of the two has any relationship with pagans!

Rather unfortunately, many understand Christmas to mean “end of year celebration”, more clearly in the local dialect, Ukapisua – where activities and celebrations are put together to celebrate end-of-the-year; companies close, balance account books and hold parties, schools close and host end-of-year parties and celebrations; family members who had travelled, returned to their villages; village boys construct explosives and cause all manner of havoc; cost of living increases stupidly; reckless driving combines with hectic travelling resulting in increased number of casualties; prayer houses turn their focus to the dreaded ‘ember’ months. All these have nothing to do with Christmas; it is just chaos created by the culture of noise.

When Christians celebrate Christmas, they go to Church; they thank God with their whole heart for the salvific mission of Jesus; they express their Christian charity through gifting, visiting and praying for the sick, visiting the poor, the needy and the elderly with gifts, reconciling with injured minds and pursuing peace; they celebrate the fulfillment of the prophecies and the hope of their redemption, because it was in the coming of Jesus Christ that Christians were redeemed.

Many Doctrines have argued that Christmas in not in the Bible or that the Bible did not celebrate the birth of Christ and many scholars have also argued that Christmas was first celebrated three hundred plus years after the death of Christ (336 AD). Both positions are faulty.

The birth of Jesus Christ was first celebrated in the Bible, not even by human but by Angels!

Luke 2:8-14: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

The song sang by the angels “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” is the first recorded Christmas carol!

Furthermore, those who advance the argument that Christmas in a pagan feast because it is celebrated on the 25th of December, a pagan day of the Sun worship do not have any argument at all.

25th of December is simply the date chosen by the western Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Whether President Kennedy was assassinated that day or all the witches in the world convoke that day for their rituals, it has absolutely nothing with Christian praising God that day. Some Eastern churches celebrate their Christmas on the January 7 others, Armenian Apostolic and Armenian Evangelical Churches prefer January 6, while Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem prefer January 19.

The 12 Days of Christmas is most famous song about someone receiving lots of presents from his 'true love'. However, the song, beside the coded meaning simply counts the Christmas days of celebration.

Day 1 (25th December): Christmas Day - celebrating the Birth of Jesus; Day 2 (26th December also known as Boxing Day): St Stephen’s Day. He was the first Christian martyr (someone who dies for their faith); Day 3 (27th December): St John the Apostle (One of Jesus' Disciples and friends); Day 4 (28th December): The Feast of the Holy Innocents - when people remember the baby boys which King Herod killed when he was trying to find and kill the Baby Jesus; Day 5 (29th December): St Thomas Becket. He was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century and was murdered on 29th December 1170 for challenging the King’s authority over Church; Day 6 (30th December): St Egwin of Worcester; Day 7 (31st December): New Years Eve, Pope Sylvester I is traditionally celebrated on this day; Day 8 (1st January): 1st January - Mary, the Mother of Jesus; Day 9 (2nd January): St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, two important 4th century Christians; Day 10 (3rd January): Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus — this remembers when Jesus was officially named in the Jewish Temple; Day 11 (4th January): St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries; Day 12 (5th January also known as Epiphany Eve.

Having known this, spend sometimes in prayer, asking God how you can best prepare your heart to celebrate the entrance of His Son into the world. 

Idiongo Ebong

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