The True Meaning Of Christmas

December 12, 2016
by Karen Abbott

Even in mid-November in this eastern part of Canada, people were taking advantage of the relatively mild weather and putting out their Christmas decorations: lights, Christmas trees, and those inflatable lawn decorations. One day, I noticed that new residents in our neighbourhood had three fan-inflated characters on their lawn, none of which I could identify. All three were dogs, and although I checked the hardware store website, I couldn't find the actual names of these three. I did, however see an inflatable of Santa emerging from an outhouse!

It seems that Christmas is now just about being silly. Having been founded as a Christian attempt to redeem Saturnalia — the week-long, pagan Roman festival of light to the god Saturn leading up to the winter solstice — it appears to have reverted back to its origins, with feasting, a carnival, and an "anything goes" atmosphere.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

Traditional Christian symbols seem to be fading, while the Grinch and Minions seem to be on the rise. Whatever happened to bells and stars and wreaths? Although they didn't fully portray the meaning of Christmas, they did represent church bells, the star of David, and the wreath, a full circle of God's plan for humanity and His faithfulness. There was a connection to the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. Vanishing is the calm, peaceful, gentle atmosphere of Christmases past. Fading away is the reassuring music that was uplifting and meaningful, like Silent Night and Joy To The World.

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)

The true meaning of Christmas is that when Christ was born on earth, God's plan for humanity's salvation was in place. God was going to reconcile us, His beloved creation, to Himself. He was willing to offer His own Son as an atoning sacrifice.

With cartoon characters sporting Christmas hats and red-and-green clothing, what message are we giving to our children about the reason for the season? Obviously, it's party-time, just like Saturnalia, and it grieves my heart that our youth may never know what Christmas really represents.

As Christians and ambassadors for Christ, it is our duty to try in our own towns and families to tell the true Christmas story as often as possible and to represent to others what God did for us that Christmas Day so long ago.

Prayer: Heavenly Father and loving God, Who gave us Your own Son to live and die to reconcile us to You for eternity, may we be quick to speak to a heathen world and explain what Christmas is really about. May those hearing us then be moved to draw closer to You and to accept the great gift that You sent us that first Christmas in Bethlehem. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Abbott <kkabbott47@gmail.com>
Renfrew, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen!


    Well said and so very true.


    Thanks Karen for a timely reminder.


    Thanks for your wonderful message.
    Very well said!


    Good morning Karen,
    Such a wonderful devotional this morning! So needed.


    Thanks Karen for stepping up for the true meaning of Christmas. Blessings on your Christmas testimony. Blessings.


    So right! And this year, here, the latest craze is lighted up peacocks which apparently, unknown to all of us were at the nativity…!


    Thank you, for this. I feel the same way. As Christians we need to redouble our efforts to tell the story of our faith, especially to the children. Having fun at Christmas time is good, but not at the expense of the knowledge of why we are having the celebration.


    Hi Karen,
    I could not agree more, you and I are on the same wavelength. As a matter of fact it is one of my pet peeves and I have written and preached about it as well. But the fact of the matter is that Christ is being systematically removed from everything, I think some of it consciously and some of it by apathy. I pray that a change will come about.
    Thank you for writing this wonderful devotional.
    Blessings and a BLESSED Christmas to you and yours.


    Hi Karen
    Well said!
    Here’s an encouraging note. When we moved a few years ago, we were very pleased to see that the city places a large, beautiful nativity scene at the base of the War Memorial, right at the centre of the downtown! A couple of years ago, in a cold snap, someone actually wrapped the baby in a blanket, and we now wait to see when it happens again! So, yes, symbols are important, and we are very pleased about Christmas here, and throughout the year (all churches join in the Good Friday march of the cross, and we have a large number of refugees, brought in by many churches cooperating together).
    We enjoy your devotionals.


    Good Morning, Karen:
    Blessings to you for taking the time to bring God’s message to all of our readers!
    Yes, you are quite correct in stating that the true meanings of the Nativity are declining, and materialism is increasing. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are the effects of commercial materialism, by those who would turn Christmas into profit, and other faiths! How many people today would literally risk decapitation to openly call themselves Christian? Very few, I believe. All we can do is share our faith and our loving God Jehovah, His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit with as many as who will listen, and leave the rest to God!
    Yours in faith, love, and joy, in the service of the true God, Jehovah! Amen.


    I enjoyed your devotional, Karen. It’s not often that someone points out why Christ’s birth is celebrated at this time of year. And I agree, our society has indeed returned to a type of saturnalia, pagan celebration even though Santa Claus originally was based on a Christian saint. It now is up to us to decorate our lawns and houses with the Christian symbols we hold dear. But I disagree that the star we use as Christmas represents the star of David. It represents the Christmas star, the one the Bible story tells us that the Magi followed to lead them to Jesus.
    Many blessings to you and yours this Christmas season and in 2017 and the years to come.

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