Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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Online Magazine: Edition 8

December 2005 / January 2006

Welcome to the Eighth Edition of the Online Magazine of the Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church



Christmas is Coming

by Norman Tew

The fact that even in October some shops were starting to sell Christmas items, must alert us to the fact that Christmas is not solely a religious feast but is also the prime trading time of business.  Some Christians have tried the motto of "Putting Christ back into Christmas", but the plan has not been very successful as far as the "man in the street" is concerned. 

Others have even tried to make Christmas a holiday season without any reference to religious motives.  News from America (21 November) says that the big chain Wal-Mart has had to publicly apologise for listing Christmas as a secular holiday on its web site one day after a conservative Catholic group began a boycott against the company.

Some Christians try to completely ignore Christmas on the grounds that Christmas has so many pagan origins that it is not really a Biblical feast, but one of the celebrations that has crept into Christianity from paganism.

For most children the prime interest in Christmas is "What will I get?"  And for many adults the theme is "What can I eat?"  I would suggest that both questions miss the spirit of Christianity; Greed, whether for things or food, is not compatible with true Christianity.  Paul quotes Jesus as having said, "It is better to give than to receive".

So how can we deal with Christmas?  A chance to contact friends and get the family together is good, no matter whether the reason be religious or secular.  When there is a chance to emphasise a Christian aspect to a holiday surely we should take this chance to try to turn the eyes of the world to the Saviour of Mankind.  Jesus probably was not born in December; the choice of the day may be based on pagan festivals.  However, any chance that we have to highlight the coming of the Saviour is one we should grasp hold of and use for His Glory.

Privately and in our families it would be good to try to counteract the "wrong" parts of Christmas and to emphasise the spirit of giving in which God gave Himself, to come and live among sinful people, to demonstrate his loving character, and to die in our place.  We must remember that Christ's birth was only part of a bigger picture, and not forget the rest while thinking of the Joy of the Birth.

Let each one of us not only remember Christ this Christmas, but also talk of Him to others that they too may remember that Christmas is not about what we will get, or even what we will give, but what God gave!

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