Where Is Christ In Christmas?
This article is difficult for me to write, but I don’t feel I can stay silent on the issue any longer. I will try to be very careful as I share what is on my heart, as I know this is a very sensitive issue with many Christians. I would like to also share that is a very sensitive issue with the L-rd as well. It is for this reason that I am no longer going to hold my peace. I want you to have an opportunity to hear His heart and decide for yourselves. I will not judge anyone on the decision they may make, but you need to have the opportunity to hear what is going through the mind and heart of G-d in order to make a decision at all. My hope of course is that you will hear and believe and make the needed changes.
On Christmas morning in 1997 I was awake and praying knowing that I would soon be heading downstairs to share Christmas with my daughter and her family. I was looking forward to it as Ricci always talked to the children about the birth of Messiah and the true purpose for celebrating Christmas. After the Bible lesson my grandchildren would all scurry to the tree to fetch their presents, only to be interrupted by the patient and careful hand of their mother who herself would hand out the gifts one at a time to the children. To hear their squeals of delight as they opened the gift they had wanted was always fun.
But this morning in 1997 I was also feeling apprehensive and I didn’t know why. Why would I feel troubled about such a joyful time? As I continued praying about it the L-rd gave me a vision. Standing before me in an open vision I saw a Christmas Tree beautifully decorated with presents tucked all around the bottom. Across from the tree I saw Messiah hanging upon a cross weeping. He looked at me and cried: "The foxes have spoiled the whole tree." I responded: "L-rd, what do you mean?"
He then took me into the spirit and let me see things through His eyes and feel what He felt. He moaned: "Christmas is not about Me and what I gave on the cross. It is about greed and gifts and teaching My children the ways of the world. It is about what each one can get and moaning over what they don’t get. It fosters greed and rebellion in the hearts of My precious children, while the poor and the needy go without. This is not My way; it is not My holiday. It is mans! The merchants have totally perverted the joy of My birth and have turned the focus on satisfying the craving of man’s lust. My children are not taught to forget themselves and seek the interest of the poor and needy. It is a holiday that is a complete perversion of my ways." I realized that Christmas, although many Churches put on pageants and plays about Christ and His birth, truly is a pagan holiday. No matter how we try to dress it up, it really isn’t about our beloved Messiah. It is about us!
All the time He was speaking, I wept, as I was feeling His broken heart. I was experiencing a brokenness that was beyond my meager ability to bear. He was hurt, and I had been apart of what was hurting Him. My heart was aching. I wanted it to stop. I wanted His pain to stop. Yet, if He was hurting I wanted to hurt with Him. I had many emotions going on inside. How could I now go downstairs and joyously celebrate, knowing what I now know? How could I not tell His Church what He has entrusted to me. How could I tell His Church? Who would listen? Many would become offended, but a few would hear and it would make a difference, I at last decided. Somehow I had to be part of ending the pain I was part of creating. Personally, I have not celebrated Christmas since that day. I do however, support Mission works into prisons and for prisoner’s families, and for the poor and needy at that time of year. As I write this I can see that I have made the very adjustments He desired.
1Cor. 5:8 tells us: Therefore, let us keep the feasts, not with the old leaven (the ways holidays and things of the world), neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
What insincerity do we flee? That of a pagan holiday which perverts His ways. What Feasts are we to keep? The feasts of the L-rd. (Lev. 23) What truth? We are to walk in the truth of His Word and His commands, and the truth of a pure heart in the doing of it.
Christmas was a holiday that was established by Constantine in about 325 AD. At that time in the Council of Nicene (Roman Decree) it was decreed that all practices associated with Judaism must cease if one was to be a believer in Constantine’s kingdom, and according to his government. No more celebrating the feasts of the L-rd, which was a practice of all believers, Jew and Gentile. Instead of celebrating the birth of Yeshua on Succoth (Feasts of Tabernacles) as was traditionally practiced, believers were required to observe the birth of Yeshua on Dec. 25th which was actually a celebration dedicated to Nimrod and practiced throughout the kingdom in that era. Needless to say that decree has held even until today.
Our celebration of pagan holidays not only effects our Messiah and our children, but it also effects the Jew. I was shown in a vision that this practice is a great offense to the non-believing Jew. To say we serve the G-d of Abraham, Moses etc. and that we claim to practice a Judeo/Christian faith yet to celebrate pagan holidays in leu of Biblical Feasts leaves them in a quandary. If our Savior is really a Jewish Messiah they argue why do we not practice the feasts that a Jewish Messiah would practice? Therefore, our practices leave them disinterested in our Gospel. To go back to the Scriptural Feasts is to open the door of a Jewish/friendly Gospel.
As important as our children are, and the issue of taking a Jewish Gospel to a Jewish Community on Jewish terms, none are as important as the breaking heart of our Savior who longs to see purity and truth in His Church.
Some ask me if we should celebrate Hanukkah. My response is that you need to pray about it. It is a holiday, which was established out of the Maccabean era at which time the Maccabee brothers instigated a revolt against Syria in order to reinstitute temple worship in Israel. Up to that point Antichus Epiphanes who lorded over Jerusalem had profaned the Temple. Consequently the revolt was established to bring Yahveh back to His people and His people to Him. After that revolt Yahveh gave a miracle. After the Temple had been reestablished and worship was to commence, it was discovered that there was not enough oil to burn in the menorah for an extended period during the eight-day festivities. Only one day of oil supply existed. The priest decided to light the menorah any way. Much to every ones amazement Yahveh kept the menorah burning miraculously for the full eight days until more oil could be procured. It was an obvious sign of His approval and care for His ancient people. It is believed that Yeshua celebrated Honukkah. For this reason, it could be a real consideration for interested parties. If you would like information about the Biblical Feasts you can procure the book, ‘Biblical Holidays’ by Scarlata and Pierce from your local book store. The Publisher is Family Christian Press.