The pagan Romans exchanged food, small statues of gods, and trinkets to one another during the winter festival. The church, in adopting the custom, declared that this is to be done on December 25.
“The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pa- gans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows.”— Bibiothica Sacra, Vol. 12, 15–155.
Should we today give gifts to our friends and to those who need them? Yes, it is well to do this all through the year—especially to the needy. But our choicest gifts should be brought to Christ. For that we have a Biblical example:
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea . . And when they [the wise men] were come into the house, they . . fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”— Matthew 2:1, 11.
Give Him the best you have; give Him your life. Dedicate all you have to Him, to be used in His service. Read the Bible daily and obey its commands through the en- abling grace of Christ. Only then can you have genuine happiness.
But let not ancient paganism select the day on which you will worship God. The weekly Bible Sabbath was given as the day appointed us on which to worship Him. If we want to have happy gatherings with our loved ones, that is good. But let us not copy the heathen in doing it.
“Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them . . That thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which He hateth, have they done unto their gods.”— Deuteronomy 12:30-31.
“In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”—Matthew 15:9.
It is obeying the Inspired Word of God—the Bible— the Sabbath He gave us (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20, 8- 11) and giving our lives in His service that we become worshipers of the Living God. That is what pleases Him, and we would rather please Him than do anything else. He has been so good to us all our lives. In Him we live and move and have our being, and only through Him can we be saved.
Christmas, Easter, and Halloween
by Vance Ferrell