We must not forget that Christianity began as a nonviolent revolution and counterculture movement of other-centered love. The birth of Jesus is the event that changed history; it is a story for everyone.
God’s unimaginable beauty and presence in the person of Jesus is the best gift imaginable—a gift as surprising as it is beautiful. It’s the God we have always wanted and dreamed of. Love, hope, peace, redemption, and wonder—these are only possible because of Him.
The incarnation tells me that God deeply loves humanity and is drawing us—you and me—into divine fellowship.
Instead of aiming to reject every pagan influence, let’s keep our focus on Jesus. The radically humble and loving way that God came into this world remains significant. While we should affirm biblical teachings and be grateful for the special revelation God has given us, we should recognize that God shines light on others—even heathen outsiders—who may have something to teach us.
We all engage in many pagan customs every day, not just on Christmas. If we eradicated every pagan element from our society, we would be left without any culture at all. So what are we to do?
I am struck with the wonder of God’s self-disclosure and incredible abiding grace by which He dwells among His people. Discovering God’s intimate desire to dwell with me and His longing to incorporate humanity into His loving communion touches me at the deepest level of my being.
The Christmas story must respond to the tears and pain of those who have walked through the valley of broken humanity. If God is so peaceful, why does such brutality, war, and murder happen to a child from Bethlehem?
The message of the incarnation often gets lost in the commonness of the Christmas tradition. As we enjoy the Christmas scenery, we end up missing the real Jesus.
Every year, Christians face questions about the appropriateness of celebrating Christmas and putting up Christmas trees. I think it’s inevitable.