If There Is No Christ, There Is No Christmas | President’s Blog

December 20, 2021

My daughter’s birthday is on December 26th, which makes our holiday season a bit different. The year she was born, we celebrated Christmas at our home in Versailles, KY, with my wife’s parents. After Christmas dinner, we went to the hospital, and Whitley was born the next afternoon. That was the first of now eight holiday seasons that have included a very special birthday celebration in addition to celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Day.

As Whitley gets older, I am sure she will have stories to tell of what it was like having a birthday the day after Christmas. But as Christian parents (and educators), we have found her birth date to be quite useful instructionally. For as long as she has understood what a birthday celebration was, she has known that Dec. 25th is Jesus’ birthday, and Dec. 26th is her birthday. She has always received Christmas gifts, but we have made it clear to her that Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, giving gifts to each other in celebration of Jesus Christ as God’s gift to humanity. And the day after, on her birthday, we celebrate her.

Keeping Christ at the center of our Christmas celebrations, particularly as Christmas is commercialized more and more every year, can be difficult, even for Christian parents. For many Americans, celebrating Christmas has no connection whatsoever to Christ. Christmas is celebrated by many as a completely secular holiday, built around gifts, merriment and Santa. But for Christians, Christmas ought to be different. It is supposed to be different.

silhouette of a nativity scene against a stone wall

I am not suggesting that Christians must reject all aspects of Christmas that are not Christ-centered. I do contend, however, that without Jesus Christ, the holiday loses its meaning. And Christmas losing its meaning is dangerous for Christianity and for Christians.

For Christians, Christmas ought to be different. It is supposed to be different.

Christmas is the celebration of God’s greatest gift to humanity—Jesus Christ. God wrapped himself in human flesh, was born of a virgin and walked the earth as a man, both fully human and fully divine. He suffered and died a horrific death by crucifixion for your sins and mine and was resurrected from the dead—not just spiritually but bodily—so that all who believe in Him might have eternal life. Without Jesus, there is no hope of redemption. Without Jesus, there is no atonement. Without Jesus, there is no salvation. Without Jesus, there is truly nothing for the Christian to celebrate on Christmas morning.

Don’t let anyone take Jesus out of your Christmas. Even more important, don’t be ashamed to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “It is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans, 1:16). Trees, gifts, music, food and lights are all fantastic. But if there’s no Jesus, there’s no Christmas. Everything else is just decoration.

Without Jesus, there is truly nothing for the Christian to celebrate on Christmas morning.

President Wayne D. Lewis Jr.

About the Author

With 20 years of experience in education, higher education leadership is a calling for Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., President of Houghton University. He is recognized as being a champion for students; focusing on improving educational access, opportunities and experiences for students, including those who have historically been underserved.

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