Archive for category Christmas

Surely, it is better to witness Christ at Christmas, than to give out Christmas cards or speak into the air!

Christmas in Rome © 2017 Simon Peter Sutherland

Christmas in Rome © 2017 Simon Peter Sutherland

Christmas is an excellent time to witness to unbelievers and religious people about the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The season often brings with it a merry spirit and even in the UK, it can be a time when our shut up hearts are opened and we feel right to wish seasons greetings to fellow human beings.

With this in mind, what a wonderful time it can be to tell people about Jesus and why He came to earth, what He said and what kind of claims He made about Himself? And the biggest question of all; did He really rise from the dead and if so, what does that mean for us.

Christians can have the answer and a simple gospel track or a good word can lighten someone’s day with the good news that God loves us and Jesus died for us!

If I am critical, and I confess I am, I must state that all too often I see far too many evangelical preachers standing on street corners preaching to passersby who are not actually listening, and most of the time the preachers are speaking into the air because their sermons are spoken as they would be if they were in church. In other words, it is useless preaching a sermon to passersby if that sermon has a structured beginning, middle and end. By the time the preacher has made a point of reason, it is meaningless because the passersby have long gone and he is speaking into the air.

But is there a better way? Well, yes there is a better way. In fact there are many better ways!

Surely it is better to do what Scripture says and to reason with people in the marketplace (Acts 17: 17) and not merly speak while people are not listening. Surely it is better to engage with individuals or groups or create a forum of some kind from which to preach. Even better, why not try reading out scripture that the Word of God may be set abroad among our fellow-man. Surely it is better for people to hear the truth than to ignore it because it makes no sense to them.

As I have expressed in previous posts, I am content to doubt that the historical Jesus was ever born on December 25, I affirm it more likely that He was born at Nissan. But never the less, that does not stop me seeing beyond my understanding, and seeing Christmas as a time to proselytize and win souls to the truth. But none of this will happen if we keep silent (Romans 10: 14).

If we walk past our fellow-man and ignore him, minding our own business, we are ignoring souls for whom Christ died and are guilty of watching souls slip further away from heaven and deeper into the pit.

Christian, a majority of us have no problem giving out Christmas cards, how is it then only a minority of us are willing to give out tracks or evangelise? Christian, let us do better and not hide the light in the darkness, but make a difference in this dark world we live in.

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Martin Luther and the Christmas tree

 

christmas-tree-light-2016-simon-peter-sutherland

Christmas tree light © 2016 Simon Peter Sutherland

Christians are divided over issues concerning the Christmas tree. Many regard the tree as part of a pagan celebration and not Christian.

Some Christians also claim that Jeremiah 10: 1-10 speaks against the Christmas tree? But I doubt that the text is speaking of anything like that, for the context of Jeremiah’s passage speaks more against the idol worship that then existed and cannot rightly be connected to a mere celebration of Christmas which did not begin until many centuries later.

There is a 16th or a 17th century claim made by the early Lutheran church that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first one to come up with the idea of having a Christmas tree in the home.

The story goes like this; Luther was one day in the woods and he saw the trees amongst the snow and thought it would be a good idea to cut down a tree and put candles on it to remind people of Christ’s birth?

The story itself has no actual historical evidence to support it, but really, I don’t see what evidence a person can find for such a claim. What would it matter anyway?

I think what I personally see from the Christmas tree is a reminder of Christ, who is the light of the world, crucified on a tree (1 Peter 2: 24) and that all His people who are crucified with Him and have died to self and are the light of the world (Matthew 5: 14)

That is what I see when I look at the Christmas tree, just a simple reminder of what Christians should be and a simple reminder of Christ who died for us.

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