Sam Weaver
December 24, 2002
The reason for the season
By Sam Weaver

What is the TRUE meaning of Christmas?

Educated people will tell you that the winter solstice has been a celebrated pagan holiday since time immemorial. Long before the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, the pagan world under the iron fist of Roman rule celebrated the longest night of the year with great fanfare and the exchanging of gifts. After Constantine, when the Christian Church was beginning to gain a tenuous foothold on European culture, December 25th was designated the birthday of The Saviour—Jesus Christ.

December 25th was not an arbitrary date, but neither was it the true birth date of Jesus. The date of December 25th, roughly corresponding to the date of the winter solstice, was chosen as the "traditional" birthday of Jesus for no other reason than to appease the pagans. The Christmas tree, the Yule log, the wreath, and countless other Christmas traditions come directly from pagan celebrations and ceremony.

Our modern celebration of Christmas is steeped in pagan pomp and circumstance. This being so, and recognizing the anti-religious hostility (cleverly disguised and packaged as "political correctness") in the schools, the media, and the "popular culture" of modern Western society, it is no wonder that the true meaning of Christmas is obscured by materialism, commercialism, and outright greed. Charles Dickens, in his own, inimitable way, tried to warn us more than a century ago.

What IS the true meaning of Christmas? It is not a break—a few days off from school or work. It is not the receiving (or even the giving) of material gifts. The true meaning of Christmas is not even found in the opportunity for families to come together and fellowship. The true meaning of Christmas cannot be found in Dickens' a Christmas Carol, or in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Of course, all of these have become Christmas traditions, and I, for one, would put up a fierce fight against anyone who might try to extinguish these old traditions! The true meaning of Christmas is not conveyed by mere tradition, however. It can only be seen in the Light of Truth.

Christmas (literally, Christ's mass) is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? Why should His birth be celebrated with pomp and circumstance? Every Christian knows the answer to these questions.

Christians believe that man was made in the image of God—Body (Word), Soul (Thought), and Spirit (Deed, or action). This tripartite image of God was reflected in man. Every human being, from the very moment of conception, has a body, a soul, and a spirit.

Christ's humble birth in Bethlehem, some two thousand years ago, was a manifestation of the Body (the Word) of the tripartite God on Earth. The reason for this Birth—this "manifestation" of God on Earth—was two-fold. God became a man (a Body—a human being) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth for two reasons. The first reason was to illustrate in great glory the utter futility of any notion of salvation through law (i.e., through "works" alone). The second and most glorious reason was to offer Himself as a sacrifice (i.e., the only means of salvation from the depravity of our own human nature) so that we can be freed from the damnation of the law.

Christmas is a joyous time! It is a time of giving. It is a time of fellowship and devotion. But those of us who know the true Reason for the Season must never let anyone quash our right to celebrate or to declare that true reason!

The true meaning of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The real reason for the season is a true understanding of everything that His immaculate birth represents for all of mankind!


© Sam Weaver


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver is a native Texan. Lively discussions back in 1984--first with his very liberal girlfriend, and then with several college instructors--made him question his beliefs and his belief system... (more)


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