Chinese Pastor Appeals Essence Of Christmas: It's about Jesus, Not Santa Claus

Haidian Christmas tree lighting
Haidian Christmas tree lighting (photo:
By CCD Contributor: Samuel December 9th, 2016

Good Friday, Easter and Christmas are three biggest festivals of Christianity. We should commemorate them.

As its name implies, Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is a common public holiday in the western countries and other parts of the world such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore in Asia.

The non-Christians only regarded Christmas as a common secular festival. In the 100th year after Jesus went to the heaven, the church started to celebrate Christmas.

Historically, the first Christmas was held in 336 AD. The Bible didn't point out the specific date of Jesus's birth so Christmas is celebrated on different dates in different places. In 440 AD, the Vatican unified the date of Christmas, December 25.

In 1607 AD, the church leaders around the world got together in Bethlehem and determined that most Christians in the world should celebrate Christmas on Dec 25.

In the 19th century, Christmas became popular. Once upon a time a teacher in a Sunday school asked children a question: "Who do we commemorate when we celebrate Christmas?"

A few children just said Santa Claus and a lot of people laughed. Then these children knew that the answer was wrong.

Christmas is coming and many churches are busy preparing for Christmas. However, some churches arrange two days of evangelism instead of celebrating Christmas according to the old tradition.

Whether to celebrate Christmas is not important. What matters most is to understand the meaning of Christmas.

1.The key point of Christmas is not the program.

Many churches think that attractive programs will add color to Christmas. In their opinion, a Christmas party should be comparable with the Spring Festival gala.

A few years ago, the fellow workers of the church in my hometown argued with each other for the programs of Christmas party.

Some fellow workers and church leaders hope they could have a wonderful Christmas party. They want to improve the equipment in the church such as audio and lights. They also want more beautiful clothes. The church has cost a lot.

Some fellow workers think this idea is terrible because it is a waste of money. In their opinion, spending a lot of efforts on the form of Christmas has little use. They two sides argued for a long time.

I also attended the Christmas party of some churches in Wenzhou City, the so-called "Oriental Jerusalem". These churches have also put a lot of efforts into the party. However, they were aimed to preach the gospel. The relations between fellow workers were still very good.

The key point of Christmas is not the wonderful program which wins applause of the audience. The performance of chorus and dancing groups were also excellent. However, what benefits have they brought to us?

Beautiful dancing can only bring about applause. It would never let people see the hope of new life. We can play the wonderful music with expensive instruments. However, we can't save people or make them repent by playing the instruments. We are impressed the passionate short acts. However, the acting skills would never help people know the truth.

2. Christmas is not the occasion of gatherings and joy

A teacher once said that Christmas was not set for Christians. It was set for those who haven't believed in Jesus.

Many churches celebrate Christmas by having a feast and watching programs together. They have no differences with non-Christians in the way of celebrating Christmas.

When Jesus was born, the angels sang the song: "He would bring peace to people he like on the ground." Peace can also be interpreted as harmony. Therefore we should have a harmony relationship with God since we have got the peace from him.

When a man leaves God, he will have many difficult problems. So Jesus came to earth to solve the problems as long as the man believes in him. At last the man will have peaceful life.

Why Christmas is important? It is not only held to celebrate the death of Jesus. The festival also tells us why Jesus came to the world.

So, on this special occasion, we are obliged to bring our friends and families, or people who haven't heard the gospel to the church. We should let them know what the gospel is like. The church should also take the responsibility of spreading the gospel to more people.

3. Christmas is not the most important job during a year

In the church of some big cities, many believers are office workers from other areas. After Christmas the believers will drift apart.

Some churches plan for Christmas about ten months before. Sufficient preparation is necessary. However, ten months' preparation is exaggerated.

What is the yearly plan of the church? If it is just celebrating Christmas, maybe the church has deviated from the correct direction.

A small church will not have too much dedication. The money of the church is usually used at Christmas. The church needs to buy a lot of things and prepare for the meals at Christmas.

The church should use the money to preach the gospel, help brothers and sisters in need and support fellow workers. We should not spend most of the money on Christmas. If so, we are just paying attention to the form instead of the essence of Christmas.

Some churches always want to hold a more colorful Christmas evening party than other churches. However, God won't think so.

The leading role of Christmas is Jesus instead of Santa Claus. Without Jesus there would be no Christmas. We have spent a lot of time and resources preparing for the celebration of Christmas. However, we didn't let more people know about Jesus. Many people want to take advantage of the stage to strengthen their own influence and become a star.

C.S.Lewis once said, God appeared in the shape of people's child in order to make people children of God. He was not to help people become better in nature. He was trying to create new people.

Jesus was born to save you and me. He experienced pains and tortures for us. However, what have we offered to God? What have we done to reward him?

Translated by Emma

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