How should we celebrate Christmas?
Well, if you are not a Christian, the best way to celebrate is by becoming a Christian, that is, by believing in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and asking him to come into your heart.
But if you already are a Christian, how is Christmas best celebrated? There are many different views on the topic, but as I meditated on the Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth this season, an obvious theme regarding celebration jumped out at me. I believe that by looking into the Scriptural accounts concerning the angels, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds some valuable clues and some good examples of celebration can be found.
First and foremost, the angel Gabriel came to the shepherds with the great message that: Christ the Lord—the Savior of the world—had been born in the city of David.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” the multitude of heavenly host praised! So what was the response of the angels toward the events of the first Christmas?
“GLORY to God”, they shouted!
The basic meaning of the Hebrew word for glory; which is kabod is: “heavy in weight.” To give glory means to, “to give weight to, to honor.” “To give glory” is to praise, to recognize the importance of another and to give weight to the role one carries in the community. And one of the main jobs of God’s people is–to praise Him and to glorify Him.
We are to recognize the essential nature of His Godness–his goodness; that which gives Him importance and weight in the human community and report it back to Him.
I believe that as we celebrate this time of year one of the best things we can do is to take a tip from the example of the angels and their celebration at that first Christmas. One of the best ways Christmas can be celebrated is by giving the gift of praise—to God. As I have studied the passages of the nativity story I have found some great examples of how praise was accomplished at the first Christmas.
I have taken the liberty to utilize the first letters of the principles that I discovered in the story and I have arranged them as the key words in an acronym, of the word praise. As you are considering ways to celebrate Christmas this season it is my hope that use might use this simple acronym and the accompanying Scriptures to inspire you.
And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:18-19
R recognize Him
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:10-12
A acknowledge Him
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits. Ps. 103:1-2
I interpret your thoughts and feelings into words
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. Mat. 12:35
S say it, sing it aloud
Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Heb 13:15
E express the truth to all
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. Luke 2:16-18