Is Christmas a Christian holiday?

Or is Christmas a Biblical holiday? Well, it depends on what you mean by that.

The root of what we celebrate, the Word made flesh, certainly is at the foundation of our Christian beliefs. But the holiday itself finds no basis in our Bible. In other words, we were never instructed to celebrate Jesus' birth. In fact, we were never even told when it was.

So then, should we celebrate Christmas? For help with this, let's go to our text.

Esther chapter 9 records these words:

Thus, because of everything written in this letter, and what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had come upon them, the Jews resolved and took upon themselves, ... that without fail they would observe these two days in accordance with what was written in and at the appointed time, every year;  ... and that these days of Purim would never cease among the Jews or their memory be lost by their descendants.

The Jews, who had multiple days and feasts that were mandated by God, added one of their own, Purim. They marked a time to remember what God had done for them so that it would not be lost on future generations.

Likewise, Christmas observes events in the relationship between God and man, that while not decreed by God, is a useful tool to remember and celebrate.

Let us then be free to claim this holiday, which bears our family name, to tell to future generations what God has done.



9 Responses

  1. Elaine
    It seems that the words of Christmas carols are a wonderful reminder of Jesus' birth and all He means - from "Away in the Manger" which many children learn early - to "O Holy Night" and many others - the wonder of his birth is proclaimed over and over throughout the season - by believers and unbelievers alike...
    • WTWN
      Yes! When else can you walk into the corner store or restaurant and hear songs overhead declaring God's love!
  2. Elaine
    I just heard "Hark the Herald Angels" sung on Good Morning America - beautiful and clear - and listened to the words carefully - what a beautiful great message going out across the airwaves - intentionally or not!
  3. GG
    I have friend who is Christian & doesn't believe in celebrating Christmas or Easter because they are pagan holidays, and says we should only be celebrating the festivals God commanded in the Bible. She & her husband left their church to attend a home fellowship where they believe the same thing. Would they be considered Messianic Jews even though they are not Jewish by birth?
    • WTWN
      Short answer? You can be Jewish by birth or by actual conversion. We, as Christians, are "grafted in" to the Jewish roots of our faith. The long answer would include a discussion of gentile God fearers in ancient times, the debate in the early church of how to bring the gentiles who followed Jesus into the synagogue, etc.
      • GG
        I think they're taking the "grafted in" as being we're now Jews literally & should follow all of the customs. It kinda feels cultish, but I haven't had enough conversations about it to say for sure.
        • WTWN
          So great you are pursuing relationship and keeping the conversation going. Great place to keep just asking questions. Jesus was a great question asker and people often came to great truth when they were done "answering". Seems like there are two issues - 1)keeping all the customs of the Jews - does your friend wear tassels? do they keep kosher and follow the other purity rules? 2)not celebrating anything not "jewish" do they celebrate Chanukah? Chanukah isn't a biblical holiday decreed by God - it's a traditional celebration the Jews started in that time period between our testaments. What do they think about Jesus celebrating Chanukah (John 10:22-23)? Bless you for keeping fellowship with other Christ followers, even if it looks different from the conclusions you've come to. We all just need to keep encouraging and pointing each other towards Him.
        • One must be careful to make the distinction between the traditions that God commanded in the "Written Law" and those that the Rabbis in their "Oral Law" mandated. It is not a requirement for Christians to observe the Oral Law, but it is a Mandate from Heaven to keep the Written Law that God commanded in the Written Torah.
          • jen
            Agreed - very important to distinguish God mandates from tradition. The council meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15) with Peter and the early church leaders addressed how "Jewish" to make the early Gentile believers. The answer? Not very. Why burden them when they couldn't keep the law themselves? They came up with some minimum requirements including abstaining from idolatry and sexual immorality.

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