The Repulsiveness and Blackness of Christmas


Today, for a 23rd time I stand before the Walnut Street Church of Christ on the Sunday when people expect a Christmas message. In some of those sermons I have dealt with various aspects of our Lord's birth. Some of the sermons have related to religious error that is so prominent at this time of the year. Of course we all realize that the word Christmas is not a Bible word and we likewise realize that no one can be certain of the exact date of our Lord's birth.


Irving Berlin was sitting in the Arizona sunshine by the Biltmore swimming pool when he got the idea to write a song, "White Christmas." This was late 1939 or early 1940. The song was first sung in 1941 by Bing Crosby. His famous recording of the song was made in 1942 in only about 18 minutes. The song has become the most recorded Christmas song of all time. However instead of talking about a white Christmas today I want to talk to you about the repulsiveness and blackness of Christmas. 


Not many things have been more warped and misrepresented than the birth of this child, Jesus. It was not some sweet birth of a little baby in poor circumstances that touches people’s hearts. His birth was not a time for gift giving and frivolity, He later received three gifts. This child was born because of sin. He was not born because of His own sin, because He never sinned. He did not inherit sins from Adam or from His parents. The idea of inherited sin is a false and ugly doctrine. Look at the blackness and sadness of this picture. God came in human flesh because without this mankind was doomed to hell by his own sins. But, "unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)


While some may dream of a white Christmas there is another side to Christmas also. Its repulsiveness and blackness are horrible even to consider. 


There is the repulsiveness and blackness of dishonesty at Christmas. The warnings go out early, "Lock your presents in the trunk of your car. Do not leave them in the open." You must guard with special care your check book and especially your credit cards. It was not so long ago that honest men of integrity were admired in our society. Now people are looked up to that can steal and get by with it. By inspiration our Bible says, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28) Many will feel the repulsiveness and blackness of Christmas as thieves take what is theirs. God said that evil men would increase in their deception. He said, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)


There is the repulsiveness and blackness of drunkenness at Christmas. In the name of celebrating Christmas many will drink alcohol and become drunk.  They will also take all kinds of other drugs, all in the name of celebrating Christmas. Solomon said, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine." (Proverbs 23:29-30) There is the woe of many physical consequences. Drunkenness causes liver disease, kills brain cells, weakens the heart and leads to an early grave. While under the power of alcohol the person is mentally deranged. Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ these horrible addictions brings a man and his family to crumbs and rags. Drunkenness and drug addiction have many evil companions: (1) sexual sins, (2) lies, (3) wrath, (4) stealing, (5) dishonesty, (6) violence and many others. Those under the power of some drug are unreliable and ready to fight even their best friend. And all of this is done in the name of remembering the birth of Jesus.


There is the repulsiveness and blackness of selfish spending at Christmas. Many people spend more at Christmas time on frivolous things than they give to God for the entire year. Proverbs 3:9-10 says, "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine." Give your possessions to God. Honor Him with the first and best you have. The promised blessings will follow. "So your barns will be filled with plenty, and yours vats will overflow with new wine." Scriptural giving is not just some optional thing. It is a part of all things commanded by Jesus which must be taught every Christian. "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20) Are you faithful in your giving?


There is the repulsiveness and blackness of turmoil instead of peace at Christmas. Peace is a something much desired and rarely found in our society. Many people are so wrapped up with the things of the world that they have no peace at this time of the year. They are trying to entertain, impress and out do others so much so that they forget Him that is our peace. Luke 2:13-14 says, "Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Peace is something that we all want. While it is true that Jesus brings peace it goes far deeper than that. Jesus "is our peace." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." (Ephesians 2:14) We all want to be able to not have to worry, to feel free to enjoy life, family, friends, and the church. God wants you to have true peace by not having to worry about anything. (Philippians 4:6-9) God does not want you to worry and fret because when you worry that means you do not trust God and that you are not taking Him fully at His word. The peace that God gives you will guard your mind and strengthen your heart.


The repulsiveness and blackness of Christmas. In a moment of repulsiveness and blackness Herod had many babies murdered near the time of the birth of Jesus. (Matthew 2:16-18) Add to that horror that no one rose up to try to stop it! How repulsive? How dark? How Ugly? To really appreciate what happened at the birth of Jesus you must understand the repulsiveness and blackness of this event. What took place at the birth of this child had to do with the problem of sin. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) Jesus came because we were sinners. That is what the birth of this child is all about. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15) He is literally "God with us." (Matthew 1:23) The Bible says, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." (1 John 4:14) The repulsive and black side of Christmas is sin. If this baby had not been born we would all have been damned to hell forever.


All the sins that have ever been committed show the reason why this child was born. Every act of disobedience like Adam and Eve, every act of murder like Cain, every act of adultery like David, every evil thought, evil word, or evil deed that has ever been done is the reason this child was born. "Sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4) Sin is when people will not walk with God, but instead walk contrary to Him. (Leviticus 26:27) Sin defiles everything that is good. It destroys everything that is sacred and holy. The only cure for sin was the blood of God's Son. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10:4)  Sin brings the worst of things into our life. If this child had not been born there would be no forgiveness. "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28)


I know folk want Christmas to be a sweet little deal like you see on a card with the beautiful scene of snow falling on a serene surrounding where a pretty little baby boy was born and every one was just so happy. But that was not the way it was at all. God was not happy because He had to send His Son to redeem man from sin. Jesus was not happy because he had to leave heaven and bear the sins of the world. The angels were not happy because they had to observe the entire horrendous mess caused by sin. The only bright spot in the entire story is that now we have a Savior.


What will you do with your soul and with the Savior that came as a baby? To become a Christian, you must hear the gospel (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:15-16), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism do not allow anything to keep you from your service to God. The repulsiveness and blackness of Christmas is bad enough. Do not make it worse by a refusal to obey the gospel or by an unwillingness to live and act like you should. 


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA