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Northview Blog Is Christmas Christian? Depends On How Fast You're Going

December 23, 2020

Is Christmas Christian? Depends On How Fast You're Going
Recently, the question was posed, is Christmas Christian? I believe Christmas is Christian. Yet, like most things in life, it depends on your point of view. Said differently, if you think Christmas is Christian, end of story. That’s what it looks like from your point of view.
Understanding something from your point of view is what Astronomers refer to as parallax. What that means is, the apparent position of a thing, say an object, or even an idea, is dependent upon, or interpreted from, your location or point of view. 
So, let’s try to engage the question for a deeper understanding. It seems like there’s more to this than simple point of view. 
For example, in Romans 12:2 we’re encouraged to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Clearly, our points of view are important but as the verse tells us, we need to renew our minds as well. 
Let’s turn to another Einstein idea for a metaphor. Did you know we all experience time differently? Einstein’s theory of relativity, amongst other things, teaches us that time is a concept. It’s not fixed like we think of it, it’s subjective. In fact, it is relative to the speed of the observer, hence the name, relativity. Basically, we experience time based on how fast we are moving. 
From one point of view Christmas may not be Christian. It might be viewed as a consumption holiday; created much like Valentine’s Day, simply to encourage consumerism. What better holiday in a Capitalistic economic system than one which obliges people to exchange gifts. 
The interesting piece about capitalism and a consumer-driven holiday is the compulsion for speed. We need to get the newest gadgets, phones, TVs, toys for the kids. This all happens during a rushed shopping season. Put plainly, consumerism requires speed. 
The speed of consumerism alters our points of view because it changes our relation to things, to people, even to Christmas itself. If my mind (and body) are stuck in the anxiety of not getting the perfect presents, I rob myself, my family, and my God, of my presence. 
Colossians 2:6-7 reminds us…” just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Gratitude can slow you down. Gratitude breathes deep. It takes a pause. It reorients us to Him. Gratitude keeps us from falling into the very tempting trap of consumerism. It does so by renewing our minds, focusing us on the will of God; that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Be mindful of how our society pressures us to overspend, to rush, and even feel guilty if we don’t. The more we focus on the Christ part of Christmas, the more Christmas becomes Christian because we celebrate it in His time, not ours. In this way, during the Christmas season, our faith has the chance to be overflowing with thankfulness. 

by Matt Lamb


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