Few years back we were at a function and the mayor of the city was invited to preside over the Christmas function. As she proceeded to give her speech, to my surprise, she said, ‘” here we are to celebrate the birthday of Santa Claus.”. Next reaction….. (of public) was thunderous laughter.
I wasn’t angry, neither amused. It was sad for me to know how unaware people are . All the more unhappy situation is, before saying ‘yes’ for presiding over a function, they don’t even bother to do their ‘homework’.
Mall culture has taken a gigantic leap. They are so well decorated with “santa claus’ toys, sleighs, bells and red dresses, and red caps with pompoms during Christmas, that its easy for people to fall into the trap of mistaking Christmas as birth celebration of ‘ our very own jolly santa claus clad in red dress on his sleigh of reindeers bringing gifts for children’.
Origin of Santa Claus is basically a commercial venture by two New Yorkers ___ Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast. They must not have anticipated that this effort would be such a huge commercial success as well as so popular with children.
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas, believed to be born sometime around 280 A.D. In Patara near Myra in modern day Turkey. Known for his piety and kindness (gave away all his wealth for helping poor and sick, saving children from slavery and prostitution ) he became popular. He was a good man. And the effort ( though commercial) was good.
But, He is NOT the reason for Christmas celebration?
Real reason for Christmas?
Christmas celebration has always been under debate , since the exact date of the birth of Christ , is not recorded in the scriptures , and the cultural habits, behaviour of shepherds, celebrations of feasts and weather conditions of Jerusalem clearly indicate that 25th December may not even be close to the date of birth of Christ. But then again, Christ is “good news”, a reason for celebration .and ………..
“…In all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.
“We can always use every opportunity to proclaim the “good news” during the season.
We celebrate the “LIGHT OF THE WORLD ( John 1:4-9)”
Luke 2:7, “And she gave birth to her Son , her firstborn and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn (hotels and inns were crowded with people, coming to observe autumn feasts ).
Luke 2:11, “ ….For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord ! (Mic. 5:2) Do we understand the significance? Probably no.
While the Holy Bible doesn’t record the exact time, day, month of birth of Christ ( time and dates aren’t important for salvation), but there are general indicators of both the year and season of the year.
Let us consider few circumstances during Christ’ birth. Luke 2:8 says, there were shepherds living out in the fields with their sheep at that time. Now, shepherds in Jerusalem wouldn’t stay in the fields past autumn. They bring their sheep in for winters. So the birth could have taken place during summer or early fall.
Luke 2:1-4 records Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census . Taking a census under such freezing conditions would have been a challenge. Because in winter, temperatures often dropped below freezing points and roads were in poor conditions. Hence 25th December couldn’t have been Christ’s birth date.
The big reason for celebration should be THE PURPOSE CHRIST CAME FOR.
Why He( Jesus) came on earth?
(Shash Grewal (Shashwati) is a “Scriptural Motivational Writer, who explain’s life’s, common principles, in a very lucid manner so that the younger generation can relate to the solutions, She offers through her writing, to all the problems they face on a daily basis.)
Luke 1:68-79 , “ Blessed be the Lord , the God of Israel, because He has come and brought deliverance and redemption for His people !
“And He has raised up a Horn of salvation (a mighty and valiant Helper, the Author of Salvation,) for us in the house of David His servant .”
“ That we should have deliverance and be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who detest and pursue us with hatred”
“To make true and show the mercy and compassion and kindness to our forefathers and to remember and carry out His Holy covenant , that covenant He sealed by oath to our forefather Abraham”.
“ To bring and give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness and remission of their sins. “( Mostly people believe that if they are living a decent life and not troubling or harming others, they are free from sins. But truth is “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. Romans 5:12 says, “ Therefore , just as sin came into the world through one man(Adam), death spread to all men because all sinned. So the gist of it? We all are sinners and Christ is remission of our sins.
One of the primary reasons for Christ’s coming to earth……. “To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace” (Luke 2:79, Isaiah 9:2).
As parents, as siblings, as relatives and as friends, we all know how lost the world is, in hatred, in drug abuse, adultery, murders,……endless list. Families are broken, lives are lost and love is the last thing people have for each other. Quintessential “peace” is absent in life.
Jesus , the Prince of Peace, came on earth to fill us with His peace (that surpasses all human understanding, Philippians 4:7))
(Shash Grewal(Shashwati) is a philanthropist and a social worker, who tries to reach out to hurting hearts with scriptural blessings and kindness.)
Luke 3:4-6, “…….Prepare the way of the Lord, make His beaten paths straight. Every Valley and ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be levelled, and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough roads shall be made smooth. And all mankind shall see (behold and understand and acknowledge ) the Salvation of God (the deliverance from eternal death decreed by God) (Isaiah 40:3-5)
Christmas we can use as an opportunity for proclaiming Christ, for sharing the “good news”, for praying for all our brothers and sisters to be set free from bondages , that keeps them captive and blind to Truth , praying for healing( for the ones who are suffering) in the name of Jesus, and above all salvation.
Let’s celebrate “Freedom” , celebrate the Prince of Peace and the salvation He offers.
Next time you hear someone doing the mistake of thinking 25th December as Santa Claus’s birthday, please make a loving effort to update them . You will not only help someone with Truth, but also help them understand why we are joyful during the season and always. It might lead them to Christ and to salvation.
Share with them Who Christ is—–
We celebrate “the Lamb of God, our Deliverer, Chief Cornerstone, Lord of Lords, King of the Universe, our Strength and our Song, The Anointed One, Holy one of Israel, Lord of Hosts, Rock of all ages, Living Waters, True Vine, our Fortress, our Salvation, our Righteousness, our Wisdom, our Sanctification, our Covenant, our Portion, Our Cup, our Joy, the Everlasting One, the Just Judge, our Defence, our Provider, Comfortor, the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega, our Foundation, Resurrection, and above all….worthy of all Praises!”
“A Light for revelation to the Gentiles (to disclose what was before unknown and to bring praise and honor and glory to Your people Israel (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6) (Luke 2:32)”
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)