When Christ purges His Church, our most prized celebrations may be the first things to go.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Why God Hates Christmas
Now that I’ve got your attention with the title, I ask that you seriously consider what I am presenting here. Please note that the title is not Why God Hates Christ’s Incarnation and Resurrection. As Christ begins to purge His Church, He will go after everything that has taken the place of what He truly desires—idols we have created and, in some cases, worshipped at His expense. Some of our idols aren’t that hard to recognize. With a little thought, we can see that our families, our jobs, our dreams and aspirations, recognition, fame, sex, addictions, etc. can become idols. According to Romans 6:16, we become slaves of whomever or whatever we obey, and whatever master we serve will become an idol, draining our affections away from God.
Other idols are more difficult to identify, often because they have become accepted practice. These are the “shadows” Paul warns us about (Col. 2:17), poor substitutes for the real thing. Such is the case with our celebrations of Christmas and Easter. God knew what would happen if His children started celebrating days and weeks and seasons. They (we) would become just like the Jews who prided themselves in obeying the letter of the law while totally missing the spirit of the law. Similarly, Israel’s special days became ends in themselves, part of the ritual that made them feel so good about what they had done.
Those special days that God instituted were established for a purpose which was quickly perverted into self-serving opportunities to display their supposed righteousness and superiority over the disgusting pagan nations around them. Instead of ministering the love of God to them, they directed their efforts to the things that made them feel superior to them. Man has a way of perverting special days, and this is why we have been warned about falling into this trap. Look at how many pagan customs and traditions have tainted our Christmas and Easter celebrations.
AS I SEE IT
This article focuses on a problem we probably have never considered, a problem that arises when our celebrations miss the point and fall short of the significance of the event being celebrated. God wants us to be living out the results of the profound transaction that took place on the day being celebrated. What good is there in celebrating the day Jesus was born, if we have failed to live out the abundant life He came to bring? How can we celebrate His humble, lowly, and ignominious birth in an animal stall while we demand a comfortable auditorium that offers the best show in town? How can we feel so good when we bring lost people to our church’s Christmas pageant while we have failed to bring the transformational message of the gospel to them personally?
What good is there in celebrating Jesus’ resurrection if we fail to share in Jesus’ “resurrection life” every day of our lives? Most Christians put on their best clothes for the Easter service, delight in the message, and return home to a life of struggling and striving that denies the reality of the message they just heard. Paul was God’s special messenger to the Church. The gospel he preached was all about the believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Yet, most Christians are content with being forgiven of their sins, unaware that what happened on Calvary’s cross brough deliverance from the power of sin and allowed them to live a life of victory by sharing Christ’s “resurrection life.”
The message of Christ’s resurrection was not just that Jesus had conquered death. It also signified that since believers were “in Christ,” what had happened to Christ also happened to them. When He died and was buried, so were they, and when He rose to newness of life, so did they. They simply had to reckon it so (Rom. 6:11). Here’s the point of it all:
God wants us to be living out the message of the event,
not celebrating the day it happened.
If we have got this so wrong, imagine what else will be included when Jesus’ purging begins. He can accomplish it the easy way or the hard way. We can set things right or He will be forced to do it the hard way. It’s time for some spring cleaning.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
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