“This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I love the people called “Puritans”. They knew how to “rejoice and be glad”. Some educated people—who knew better—described them as long faced dower people who were worried that someone somewhere was happy. Such is not the case. Puritans knew how to enjoy life and have parties. Some of their parties went on all night as did the party celebrating the marriage of Oliver Cromwell’s daughter. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was perhaps the last of the Puritans. At his ordination he had a party and a dance. One person of Edward’s time, knowing how much partying the Puritans did, made the comment, “Why these Puritans will even have an ordination at their dances.”
However, Puritans treated every day the same and so were not in the habit of celebrating Easter or Christmas. They argued that the Church in its formative age did not have holy days, Scripture does not call on us to mark certain days as special and so we should regard every day as holy to the Lord.
Others of us are willing to set certain days apart in order to cease our customary work and sing praise to God that Christ has come and that Jesus died and rose again the third day. This may be the basis for people objecting to the Puritans. Puritans also objected to the theaters because they were brothels in their day and Puritans—like many today—saw the abuses of those women and spoke out against it. So Puritans were not against theaters as such.
God’s people of all persuasions are, at the last, God’s people. All Christians should be joyfully received by us, just as they have been received by the Lord in spite of some differing views on how to celebrate the grand truths of Scripture. On this holy day of Christmas it is especially important to recognize that Jesus has His people in almost every country and culture.
Let us rejoice in this day and all days that Christ has come, He suffered and died, as the Scripture prophesied, and He rose again, once more as Scripture prophesied. Christmas is the conclusion of one set of prophecies and the beginning of the fulfillment of another set as we see events unfolding in our world we recognize that our God reigns in all matters.
Will you bow your knee today and confess that this Jesus, seen in a manger and on a cross, is Lord? Will you rejoice in the truth that He came to redeem sinners and that you are one of those for whom Christ died? May this Christmas be especially blessed to you and yours and may the New Year be full of promise and hope. May God bless us everyone.