The Christ of Christmas

Every year Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Christ with joy and happiness.  The birth of Mary’s child in the poor manger in Bethlehem is an event that changed human history.  That little child was more than just another baby born on earth.  That child was the one about whom the prophets spoke.  He was the one whom God had promised to send in order to become the Savior of the world.

Tonight and tomorrow Christians around the world will gather with family and friends to celebrate God’s wonderful gift: the gift of His love.  Christmas is a great time to express love and concern for others.  This is what God did by sending His only Son.  God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus to give us eternal life and to reveal the extent of God’s love for you.  This is the meaning of the angels’ words: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

However, from every corner of our nation, Christmas has been under attack.  Many people today are reluctant to use the name of Christ, Savior, or any other word that is related to Christmas.  Some stores are removing references to Christmas, even though they still want your Christmas business.

This is a great challenge for the church.  As God’s people, we have been called to proclaim to everyone that a long time ago, God became a human being and chose to live among us. That is the reality of Christmas. There is no Christmas without Christ.

Christians everywhere are committed to proclaim the Christ of Christmas. In the midst of the pain and suffering of our world, there is the good news that Christ can make life better. In the midst of the rejections and denials of the Christ of Christmas, there is a love that accepts and affirms.  To this cause, the followers of Christ are committed.  To the Christ of Christmas we, the followers of Christ, pledge our love and commitment.

At this time of great joy and happiness, I would like to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for you and your loved ones.  May the God who demonstrated His great love at Christmas bring you and your loved ones joy, love, and peace.  From the depths of my heart, I wish you a happy and blessed Christmas.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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5 Responses to The Christ of Christmas

  1. Ron Lankshear says:

    Many Thanks Claude – we had a great Christmas Day with our family. Many blessings on you and yours for the New Year,

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  2. Greetings Dr. Mariottini,

    I strongly believe with you that Christians do have a responsibility to make use of this time period to talk to the world about the coming of a savior, Jesus Christ. Although we do acknowledge (and many are quick to point this out to us) that Jesus was probably not born during this time of the year, and that Christmas does have pagan origins, it would be foolish on our part not to speak to the world about the savior when their ears are, shall we say, “more receptive”.

    Where I disagree is with the complaints that we, Christians, have been raising against those who are not interested in seeing Christ integrated within the framework of their secular society. I think they have a point. Whereas the government should uphold the right for any and everybody to practice their religious belief in an open manner, I also believe that those who don’t believe have the right to argue for what they do believe in: the right to walk into “secular” stores and setting and not see something religious.

    For fear that I’m not being clear (smile): If I don’t believe in Christ and I go to a supermarket, why should I see Christ posted up in the supermarket? Is it a Christian store? If it was, then I can’t say anything. But if it is not, then why should I have to see it?

    Whereas I do believe that Christians have the responsibility (and should have the desire) to share their faith to anyone anywhere, I think that it is wrong to argue that secular outlets should be used for that purpose. The fact that people are fraustrated by the Christ in Christmas is just a display of how anti-religious the west has become.

    I may not be as clear as I intended to be, but I hope you get my point (smile).

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    • By the way, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you sir!

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    • Claude Mariottini says:

      Jerry,

      I do not disagree with your comment. As you mentioned, there are many secular people who do not believe in Christ. They have their right not to celebrate Christmas. I also agree that we live in a society that has rejected the claims of Christianity. What I was trying to say is that since the Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe, Christianity should be spreading in our society and around the world. However, secularism is growing because, I believe, Christians are not spreading the good news to other people. Christ must be proclaimed in order for people to believe.

      I want to thank you for visiting my blog and also for your comments. Have a happy New Year.

      Claude Mariottini

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