The true meaning of Christmas for believers rests in the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of this world. It’s where the word itself ‘Christmas’ was coined from.
The most awaited time of the year – Christmas – rolls around with exciting news, white sparkling snow, and gifts wrapped in beautiful ribbons.
There is always so much joy, warmth, and happiness in the hearts of family and friends. The shopping frenzy, seeing cousins, glittering decorated pine trees everywhere and crowds of people in the streets is synonymous with the season.
But what is the meaning of Christmas? The true meaning of Christmas for believers rests in the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of this world. It’s where the word itself ‘Christmas’ was coined from.
However, people from all over the world celebrate this event, even if they are not Christians or do not believe in Christ. There is also the problem of Christians getting lost in the activity and forgetting the true purpose of the season.
Some people also possibly use the Christmas season to channel worship to wrong beings, such as roman gods or even angels. They take out time to study what angels really look like, and this isn’t what God had in mind for Christmas.
This article will renew your mind and give you a new perspective by exploring the origins and history of Christmas, the spiritual significance of Christmas for Christians, and why it should be celebrated.
What is Christmas?
The word Christmas means the mass of Christ, and its etymology dates back to 1038, when the word was mostly used for the celebration of the Eucharist.
This mass service was originally intended to commemorate the death of Jesus and how He came back to life. The name was eventually shortened to give birth to Christmas.
Today it is recorded as a time when friends and family gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is also quite a reflective season for Christians. The tone of the season is mindfulness and gratitude for the year.
They take time to pray, study the birth of Jesus according to the scriptures, and reflect. They also spend quality time relaxing, enjoying and appreciating the gift of family. This includes spending quality time with your loved ones and buying gifts.
How did Christmas start?
Christmas was first established by Sextus Julius Africannus in 221. December 25 was assigned as Jesus’ birth date by Sextus and over time, it became universally accepted.
However, it’s not new information that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th. It was a way of Christianizing the pagan holiday called dies solis invicti nati.
This holiday was initially a popular Roman empire celebration that marked the winter solstice and the resurgence of the sun. It was also a day used to worship the sun god.
Why is Christmas on December 25th?
The Bible doesn’t give a specific date of Jesus’ birth. However, the early Christians linked Jesus Christ to the Sun, using sentences like ‘Sun of Righteousness’.
It’s not a coincidence that the Romans marked December 25th to celebrate the resurgence of the sun.
December 25th was also documented as nine months after the Feast of Annunciation, which is connected to the conception of Jesus. The celebration of Christmas was banned severally over the years because of its association with pagan rituals and drunkenness generated from the Roman celebration.
Although, it was brought back fully in the early 19th century. The Church of England emphasized its meaning for all Christians and then, Christmas was stamped as a time to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. It was also etched as a time of reflection, celebration, kindness, and charity to the poor and less privileged.
To fully understand the spiritual meaning of Christmas and why it matters to a believer, you need to go back and uncover the Christmas story.
The Christmas Story According To The Bible
The entire celebration of Christmas revolves around the birth of a very special person named Jesus.
Out of the unconditional love that God had for mankind, He sent His son to die so that we could be redeemed and freed from the bonds of death and the grave. Now we must spend the rest of eternity in His presence and in peace because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
If He wasn’t born, none of that would have been possible. Jesus’ birth was the beginning of the redemption plan of God which is fully encompassed in John 3:16.
The Christmas story has several accounts in the Bible you can read up.
Jesus was born in a manger located in Bethlehem by His mother, Mary as a fulfillment of the messianic prophecies of old.
The Bible also explains how an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds grazing, announcing the birth of our Saviour. It was a glorious sight, a truly significant moment in time! (Luke 1-2)
The Magi followed a bright star to Bethlehem and came bearing gifts to honor baby Jesus as the king of Jews. King Herod caught wind of a king being born in opposition to his authority. So he commanded that all boys that were younger than two years of age be killed in Bethlehem, but Jesus and His earthly parents escaped to Nazareth.
God’s promise in Galatians 4:4-5 was also fulfilled;
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
Why is Christmas important to Christians?
Christmas is a day of reflection, celebration, and worship. Despite the fact that Jesus was not born on December 25, it was chosen as the day of the year when all Christians usually gather to remember the One who paid the ultimate price for our souls so that humanity could have eternal life.
How To Celebrate Christmas as a Christian
- Reflect on the reason for the season
You can do this by carving out time to pray and spend time with God. Offer up thanksgiving in words for the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made. Listen to songs that help you remember.
It is also a great time to do an in-depth study of the birth of Jesus through the Word of God. You can read alongside your family and have a beautiful Bible study, where everyone is allowed to voice out their thoughts on each scripture that is being read out.
The goal is not to get too caught up on activities that you forget the reason it was all there in the first place.
- Give intentional gifts
The reason people can give to those around us is because Jesus first gave to us an irrevocable, unconditional gift. He did this generously, despite the pain and hardship He went through on His way to the cross to die.
Keep this in mind when giving gifts to your loved ones. Give generously to the less privileged. You can give them Christ-inspired gifts so that they always carry a piece of the heart of Jesus. Find opportunities to serve people and give your time. Love people as Christ loved and still loves you.
- Slow down
This is also a season to foster the bonds you have with your family members and friends. With the goal of honoring the love and sacrifice of Jesus, extend that love to your family.
Spend quality time with them and enjoy their presence. This is the period for wholesome dinners and celebrations, hanging up Christmas lights and decorations. It’s all part of tightening the cord that binds you all together.
- Give worship
Never get to a point where worship ceases from your mouth and your life this season. In the midst of dinner, shopping, and taking the children out to the mall, remember to raise deep worship to God for His sacrifice.
It’s such an honor to be His bride, to be loved so greatly. Pour your affection on Him throughout the season. Establish depths of intimacy with Him. After all, our first purpose is to worship.
Christmas is such a beautiful sight for Christians all over the world and it is a time to look forward to.
However, as a child of God, take the necessary time to pray. Do well to set your priorities. Don’t forget why Christmas was established in the first place and look to Jesus for who He is and what He has done.
Let the Christmas story sink in and grow in your heart, and when it does, let your spirit absorb it all and let it reflect in your actions this season.