An Argument For Christmas Carols

For many years I fought the onrush of Christmas Music that floods the stores and elevators on the first of November. I would like to believe that a big part of my rejection was in protest to the over-commercialization of the HolyDay. One can hardly argue that the traditional celebration of Christ’s Birth, regardless of what time of year it actually was, has become a toy, candy, and ham driven economic resuscitator, returning many companies to the black after a difficult year. What should be a celebration centered around God and Family, has degenerated into a quagmire of capitalism and greed.

In truth, I never really saw the need for Christmas Carols. I’m not talking about Rudolph and Frosty and Santa Claus coming to town, I really mean that, as a Christian, I kind of thought that even the mainstays of our Church Christmas Services, “Silent Night”; “The First Noel”; and “Away in a Manger”, were entirely unnecessary and needlessly distracting from the Gospel. Blasphemous, right?

Let me elaborate, so that I am not excommunicated based on a misunderstanding. I always believed that Easter was far superior to Christmas in its meaning and message. After all, Christ came to die for us, right? He paid the ultimate price for my sin, He descended into Hell and stole the keys so that I could be free from sin and death and spend eternity with Him. Is that not much more important than the fact that He came to earth as a small baby in a stable?

I have come to believe that Christmas should hold as least as much significance for the believer as Easter does. While the sacrifice that Christ made is crucial for our eternal lives, the life that he lived is necessary for our temporal lives. If His coming had only been for the Cross, he could have shown up at age 30, delivered His message, and earned the enmity and envy that led to His death. This would have given Him enough time to teach, and to be the propitiation of our sins. Instead, He came as a baby and lived every day of those 33 years as a human being so that he could sympathize with us and show us a better way of life. What sort of credibility would his message have if it came from a man who never suffered as we have, never experienced the grief and the loss and the hurt that we as human beings struggle through every day? What kind of observer can understand an experience from behind the glass? Without that loving example to follow, how different would a Christ-followers life really be?

Not only was the Creator of Heaven and Earth willing to walk this dust in the same pain as every other man, but He did it in the full knowledge that those He walked among would eventually reject and crucify Him. For me, the cross is the picture of Love Unconditional, the Ultimate Sacrifice. But the birth and life of Jesus is the story that brings that picture into focus with a clarity that illuminates our own condition and need for Him. Take some time this Christmas to remember, not only the birth of Christ, but the life He lived for you.
 
Abel Larkin 12/15/15