"Are you all ready for Christmas?" my dental hygienist cheerfully inquired as I headed for her chair, dreading the next half hour, as I dutifully went for my semi-annual dental cleaning.
I replied with a smile, "I'm not ready at all, since I don't observe Christmas."
She stopped and looked at me incredulously, not believing her ears.
"You don't?" she exclaimed.
I explained to her that, indeed, I do not observe the holiday but instead observe the Feast of Tabernacles in the autumn and other biblical Holy Days during the year.
The young woman said, "I've never heard of that. Is that some family thing?"
From there I briefly explained that it is biblical and that for many years, I and others of the same belief have observed the biblical Holy Days. It got very quiet after that, as she performed her professional duties in a skillful way, without the usual chatty tone.
Different ideas and practices are often unsettling to people. Some readily accept the premise that there might be another way to live, while others retreat from anything that is contrary to their belief and practice. How about you? Are you willing to at least look into the source of the customs of Christmas that you see all about us? These many colorful and deeply ingrained practices originated somewhere, but do you know their origins. Do you care? What difference does it make anyway? It makes the children happy, doesn't it? So, what's the big deal? These are good questions that deserve an answer.
First, biblical scholars acknowledge that Jesus Christ was probably born in the autumn, which would explain why the shepherds and their flocks were still in the field, since they certainly are not in the field in the winter. Secondly, there is no mention of the exact date of the birth of the Messiah or any command to observe the occasion of His birth. Surely, an important observance of this magnitude would be included in the instructions found in the Bible.
How about the evergreen tree, the lights, the mistletoe and the Yule log, etc.? Many experts report every year, about this time, that all of these traditions came from ancient pagan religions and simply have been converted to "Christian" religious practice down through the centuries by the universal church. Yet, most folks keep on being swept along by peer pressure and the merchandising expertise of retailers, seemingly oblivious to the facts.
Those who do want to know the facts, and who are concerned about what their Creator has to say about worshiping Him, can easily determine the origin of the customs.
The knowledge of the origin of these practices is enough to persuade some to give them up. Others care not at all and plow on through the shopping crowds, often going into debt to do it, without regard to the consequences, physically or spiritually.
Thinking people should deeply consider their participation in these traditions. If it is right, then full speed ahead. If not, do you have the courage it takes to "swim upstream" and resist the pressure to comply with society's practices?
Our heavenly Father has not left us bereft of Holy Days that provide many wonderful blessings, including gift-giving and family time, but "swimming upstream" can be difficult at best. If you are interested in knowing more about the observances commanded by the Great God, please order our fascinating booklet entitled The Holy Days - God's Master Plan. It will give you in-depth information on how and why the biblical Holy Days are to be observed.
Are you ready for Christmas or are you ready to make a stand to do what the God of the Bible says you should be doing?