One of my heroes of the faith is a guy named Charles Spurgeon. I love reading his sermons and his book Lectures to my Students is a must read for anyone contemplating calling to ministry. So, when I read the following quote, I was taken aback…
THIS is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Saviour Jesus Christ was born on that day, and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred.
What? Spurgeon hated Christmas? Well, yes and no. He continues:
However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt labouring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us; particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus.
I think Spurgeon found himself in a spot common to many. Christmas is fine, but what seems to happen is usually far more Chri$tma$ than CHRISTmas. Now, while I get that, agree with that and have said that, I also think that it’s our responsibility to create culture, not just criticize it. We need to be those who pursue Jesus rather than consume stuff. We need to be those who are reminding others of Jesus rather than grumbling that others are not remembering (Be nice to the cashier). We don’t need to be known for what we are against, but that in which we delight.
And I think Spurgeon would agree. He finished the above paragraph with this…
We do not wish to be classed with those “Who with more care keep holiday The wrong, than others the right way.”
So, let’s “keep holiday” in a way that draws others to the glories and greatness of Jesus.