“Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” (Luke 7:23) Fool-hearted and crazy as it may sound, the protestors are at again, protesting Christmas from perspectives as diverse as commercialization to Jesus being born in another season. On the first count I agree and on the second count I’m certain that He would appreciate our celebrating His birth anytime. I have even heard the protestors say “Christmas is not a Christian holy day” but a day of pagan celebration. This perspective even offends some Christians. Many protest the Nativity scene in public places and men dressed in Santa Claus suits ringing bells at the mall. The latest protest, burn the Christmas Tree! People, please stop the nonsense and drop the offense.
Christian compassion allows me to concede one point to the protestors too many people may be offended at the truth through no fault of the person who presents it. In the Old Testament Isaiah speaks of God as “a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (Isaiah 8:14) in that people would not always accept His demands and the way of faith in Him. Man’s objection to holiness is as old as humanity. Figuratively, Jesus represents the Most Holy of all beings, therefore, Christmas represents the most Holy of Days, Jesus’ Birthday, there lies the offense.
In the New Testament the apostles Paul and Peter takes these same words and applies them to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 9:32-33 and I-Peter 2:8). In the time of Jesus’ ministry there were those who were offended at him—at his lowly birth, being a carpenter’s son, at what he said and did or because of the cost of following him. Even his disciples were capable of being offended and turning aside (John 6:61). In the end all were offended and fled from him (Matthew 26:31).
Finally, the apostle Paul spoke of the offense of Christ, He could have chosen to preach a popular message and avoided persecution, a “message that doesn’t offend anyone” (Galatians 5:11). He chose instead to preach the cross even though it was a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles (I-Corinthians 1:23). Like Paul we choose to celebrate Christmas and not celebrate a contemporary holiday that does not offend protestors of a different mindset.
The joy and merriment that comes with the celebration of Christmas may offend many but to the understanding believer it is a test of faith. Whatever and whoever is testing and protesting elements of your faith just now will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it. “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Maintain your unshakable confidence in Jesus and believe steadfastly on him and all you come up against this holiday season will develop your faith.
Faith is unspeakable trust in God, trust which will never allow you to dream that He will not stand by us as others protest. God demonstrated His faithfulness with the birth of Jesus Our Christ, His only Begotten Son. Let the protestors protest as they may, I’m celebrating Christ this Christmas. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
- Remembering The Birth of Jesus (socyberty.com)
- How Would You Celebrate Christmas Day? (socyberty.com)