Christmas Then and Now

Christmas is a holiday that receives global homage every year. Supposedly meant to commemorate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is appreciated across the divide by both the pious and impious. It just can’t be ignored. Even when the economy is lying on its sides, Christmas cannot be hushed away. Therefore, it goes without saying, that people have some arrangements towards Christmas celebration however meagre it may be.

However, things have changed a lot. There is a huge chasm between Christmas now and Christmas then. I experienced my boyhood when Christmas was still Christmas. Oblivious of the dates and timelines, we used natural phenomena and human behavior to determine the dates. I harbor a fond reminiscence of my life as a little boy, and how we danced to the tune of the season. Ignorant of dates, especially when out of School, we could still not miss out on Christmas.

To start with, the natural world had a grand annunciation in the form of migration of birds. We used to call these birds “magungu” in our local dialect. So as little kid, our response song was “magungugungu kalo, Kirismas chiegni”, loosely translated as: “Magungugungu are passing, Christmas is nearing”. And because they fly in colonies, there’s no way you could miss out on their presence. These were the first signs that set up the tones of the festive season.

Outside of these, there was the human activities. You could see families redoing their mud houses and introducing the newest patterns and decor. This was usually collective and very enjoyable. No one was left out, and people exchanged ideas. Little children gave their best in household duties in hope that they would secure some coins to help them spoil themselves with the goodies of the season. Such gangs were a common sight in all local towns:

To secure such privileges, we could finish our assignments in time. In fact, we could introduce a new grazing method to the cattle; instead of herding, we could do either tethering or zero grazing. This was to ensure we appease our father to whom the welfare of the herd meant a lot compared to our need of mirth and healthy reveling. Hanging out with the cool kids could give a better refrain to our holidays, as it meant more coins at our disposal.

But things have changed so fast. There is no bubbling around Christmas anymore. I don’t want to blame it on the economy, for even the little kids who care less about macroeconomic equilibrium have lost it. There’s no expectations scampering for their attention. Even the few mud houses that can be seen in the village, have no appearance of novelty seen in the years past.

Despite the gap, a few things have not changed. One of those things which have withstood the test of time, is the ridiculous and discordant notes portrayed in dens of revelry and gaiety. Presumably while celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, men and women engage in activities unacceptable to the Lord whose day they claim to celebrate. He was not a reveler, nor did He ever fail the sobriety test. But in his name, people are getting drunk and disorderly. In his name, rendezvous of coquetry and the so called love are convened in disregard to His matrimonial pattern set in Eden. In his name, hedonistic feasts are organized while the poor are left languishing in absolute want of even a morsel of coarse bread. There is something about human behavior around Christmas that betrays the Lord whose day they claim to commemorate. How do you behave around Christmas?

While scripturally Christmas cannot be established, it is a good news that the world has paused to recognize the birth of Christ. The world is doing it the worldly way. Pagans have made it paganistic, traditionalists have made it a mere tradition, but it ought not to be so. How do you celebrate Independence day? Do we do so by curtailing the freedom of the people and strengthening the hand of neocolonialism? How do we celebrate the World’s AIDS Day? Do we do so by encouraging unprotected genitalic jigsaw fit? How do we celebrate Men’s Day? Do we do so by subverting the concept of manhood?

Christmas ought to have more meaning than usually practiced. Christ must be presented as the only way to get out of the mess in this World. He must be presented as the Savior of the world, and the one who receives sinful men. He must be crowned king in our lives both publicly and privily, or else we are piling guilt of dethroning the king of kings. If we mean it, then he must be fixed well.

Christ does not require us to celebrate the day of His birth. He would want us to remember Calvary instead. He would have us spend a thoughtful hour each day, meditating upon the closing scenes of His life and see to understand the cost of our redemption. He would have us remember Gethsemane and the ignominious treatment he received in the hands of crude men, that we may learn to prize aright the privileges that have been unlocked by the virtue of Calvary. However, we have been so generous to even think of His birth ( not on exact date though). By deciding to practice Christmas not from Christ’s requirements, we are obliged to ensure we do it to His glory. It is a mockery of unmeasurable degree to celebrate somebody’s birthday and do everything that spoils his day and betrays His ideals.

I know of the many paganistic feasts that are surrounding this day, but I just don’t care about them. The fact that such feasts must hide in the innocence of the lamb, is reason enough that they are not going to withstand the test of time.

I don’t have a problem with anyone who plans not to celebrate Christmas especially if one does so in the Spirit of Sola Scriptura. It is safe for a Bible Christian to avoid anything not authorised by Scriptures. However, if you decide to celebrate, then you must remember a few things:
You’re not at liberty to do whatever you want in the name of Christmas.
There’s no religious obligation for Christmas and if you decide to practice it, then you must be careful to do what glorifies Christ. Being drunk and disorderly is not one of them.
It is a mockery to Christ to pretend that you are celebrating His birth, and engage in unchristian behaviours.

May this Christmas Season be a time to reflect on Christ and what He has done for you and me. He is coming soon, to interfere with sin and it’s propensity. Prepare to meet your Lord

The best is yet to come

11 thoughts on “Christmas Then and Now

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