Hey. I wanted to get away from yesterday's theme for just one day. I'll try to get back to it tomorrow. The reason being that I had a really good friend who asked me a question about holiday traditions. Specifically, she wanted to ask how I felt about the fact that many people believe that most of our traditions were borrowed from pagan cultures. Here's my thoughts on the subject as I shared them with her.
Your questions regarding the holiday traditions are interesting but not new. Here’s my thoughts. Take them for what they are worth. The fact that traditions have been borrowed from secular parts of our society is not limited to just the Christmas season. The truth is that the free exchange of ideas between Christian and secular culture has gone on for a long, long time. I believe that God doesn’t care very much about our traditions. He cares more about our heart as we observe the season. I really believe that it bothers Him far more that we spend thousands of dollars we can’t afford on gifts for people we really don’t know in order to impress them than He does about whether or not we celebrate with or without a tree.
Let me give you an example. You and I both know that the rainbow was a symbol of God’s covenant with mankind that He would never flood the earth again. For years we have spoken fondly of the rainbow, sold it in our bookstores and sung about it at our kids’ camps. Now, it is a major symbol of the homosexual movement in America. Do we now abandon it as Christians because it has become associated with a movement that does not honor God? Or do we understand that we can still honor God with how we speak and act towards this symbol?
The Bible says that everything belongs to the Lord. The Christmas tree? God’s. The tinsel? God’s. The lights and bows and wreaths and songs? All God’s. But what God desires more than a “correct” Christmas filled with the “right” traditions is hearts that still seek Him and honor His Son’s arrival at this season.
One other note. You can read a whole lot about how many of our traditions extend from pagan practices. They may…or may not. There are some who argue that just as many were started by Christians. The date (December 25th) is not when Christ was born. The date, a pagan holiday, was taken from the secular world in order to reclaim the day for Christ. Maybe we should try to do the same with all those traditions that circulate around the holiday.
Hope that’s been helpful. Just amateur thoughts from a Christmas “junkie.”
Only 12 days remain. Hope your heart is ready for the season...whether your gift list is complete or not.