By Wang Ya In the past, I saw the Bible recorded, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway […]
Is Celebrating Christmas God’s Demand of Man? – Knowing God’s Will
The snow was very heavy during the Christmas that year. After a period of hard work, we brothers and sisters in the choir finally took first place in the town’s choir competition. At the first meeting after Christmas, brothers and sisters were still talking excitedly and endlessly about winning the competition. I recalled the scene of that day, we singing and dancing, which was very lively. But after the holiday I felt empty and there was no spiritual enjoyment. I could not feel the Lord’s presence, but very exhausted. Other brothers and sisters also had the same feeling. I could not figure out what on earth was going on.
At that moment, sister Wang Ke suddenly said, “We celebrate Christmas every year, and it always goes with a wing. But after that, we feel tired and painful, and cannot enjoy the joy of the Lord’s presence. Is it in accordance with the Lord’s will to celebrate Christmas? If so, why cannot we feel enjoyment in our spirits? Why are we still withered in our spirits after the holiday?”
Just as Sister Wang Ke finished speaking, we fell into a heated debate. Sister Xu said with disdain: “Why did you say that? How can it not be after the Lord’s heart? We are all His Children, so the Lord must be happy that we celebrate His birthday.”
Elder sister Hu echoed: “I have been a believer for decades and celebrate Christmas every year. The celebration becomes more and more lively. Isn’t this the blessing of the Lord?”
“The entire religious world celebrates Christmas and it is an important festival for us Christians. We celebrate it in memory of the Lordcrucified for us. How can this not be in line with the Lord’s will?” Everyone voiced their opinions.
Sister Wang looked at everyone and said deliberately: “If it were in accordance with the Lord’s will, there should be clear requirements of the Lordin the . However, I studied the Bible and didn’t find any related records at all. So, on what basis can we say it is in line with the Lord’s will?” No one knew what to say. Some quickly opened the Bible, and others whispered.
At this time, Brother Shen, who had always been very cautious, said: “Sister Wang, I have never considered that before. Thedid never say that people should celebrate His birthday. We believe in the Lord, so we should do things according to His words. Otherwise, it definitely comes from the will of man.” Some brothers and sisters nodded, agreeing with what Brother Shen said.
Surely, to believe in the Lord, we are supposed to listen to His words. But isn’t it in line with the Lord’s will to celebrate Christmas? At this time, sister Yang, who always spoke with insight, interrupted my thoughts: “If it comes from the will of man, isn’t it the teaching of men, the tradition of men? If so, what we do may go against the Lord’s will. The Lord Jesus once rebuked the Pharisees, saying: ‘He answered and said to them, Well has Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men’(Mark7:6-8). We all know that the earliest Pharisees added many ancient traditions to the laws. They regarded the commandments of men as the law, but discarded the commandments of God. They taught people and found fault with the disciples of the Lord Jesus according to these ancient traditions, saying they ate without carefully washing their hands. Not only did these practices not gain the approval of the Lord Jesus, but they were condemned to be hypocrites by the Lord and their worship was in vain. It can be seen that when we follow the teachings of men, no matter how well and correctly we did, it didn’t conform to God’s will. According to the words of the Lord Jesus, I think we celebrate Christmas on the basis of men’s will instead of the Lord’s words. Don’t we hold the tradition of men? It cannot be in line with God’s will.”
The fellowship of sister Yang brightened me: The Lord Jesus clearly rebuked the Pharisees for keeping the traditions of men but discarding the commandments of God. Christmas is not on the basis of the Lord’s words. Isn’t it the tradition of men? All of a sudden, the meeting place was in an uproar after sister’s fellowship. Many people agreed with sister Yang’s point of view, saying such fellowship had the light. I noticed that sister Xu wanted to say something but did not say it.
At this moment, when I looked up and noticed that sister Song, who came to our meeting for the first time today, hadn’t expressed her opinion, I said to her: “Sister Song, what’s your opinion?” Sister Song smiled and looked at us, saying, “Ok. Let me ask you a question first, does the Lord Jesus have a birthday?”
“Of course, everyone knows the Lord Jesus was born in a manger on December 25.” Sister Xu answered eagerly and proudly.
“Yes. Wasn’t the Lord born on December 25?” some brothers and sisters echoed.
After hearing the words, sister Song said, “Actually, in this regard, the Lord Jesus already fought back against our conception when He did His work. Let’s read these verses, ‘While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions (Matthew 22:41-46)’. ‘Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:57-58)’. From the Lord Jesus’s words, we can see the Lord Jesus never admitted He was the son of David, the descendant of Abraham, because the substance of the Lord Jesus is the Spirit of God and He represents God Himself. He is the One from everlasting, the Lord of creation, the Lord of David and the God of Abraham. How can the have an age? How can He have a birthday? Isn’t it too absurd for us to set a birthday for God according to our own will？ We regard the Lord Jesus as an ordinary person. Is this not a belittlement and blasphemy of God?” After listening to sister Song’s fellowship, I suddenly realized: Yep! The Lord Jesus is the incarnate Christ, the Creator. God is who He is. How could He have an age and a birthday? I often read these verses, but why didn’t I notice this before?
Sister Song went on fellowshiping, “The Bible records many feasts set by God, for example, God asked people to keep the Sabbath, observe the Feast of Tabernacles and Passover during the Old Testament age, while in the New Testament Jesus asked people to break bread, drink wine, be baptized, cover head and wash feet. All these feasts and rituals were made by God. They were all meaningful. Take Passover, people observed Passover in the Old Testament in honor of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. God passed over the Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborn son. In the New Testament, washing feet was to keep the commandment given by the Lord before the ascension, that all the brothers and sisters in the Lord should love one another. It is in line with God’s will to keep these commandments and we will receive His praise. However, if it comes from men’s will, it has nothing to do with God, and has nothing to do with the truth, because things coming from men’s will are not only meaningless, but have many deviations and absurdities, just as the Christmas we are talking about.” Brothers and sisters nodded: “According to the fellowship, this is a fact. We really did not think of it.”