Ayer fue Navidad. ¿Hicieron como los sabios que ofrecieron sus dones a Jesús? ¿O cambió el enemigo el orden de las cosas, haciendo que la adoración se dirigiera hacia él? Los regalos se dan a los amigos en vez de ofrendarlos a quien hizo un sacrificio tan grande por nosotros. Todos los regalos debieran fluir hacia otro canal, donde puedan ser usados en la salvación de los hombres.
Every tree in Satan’s garden hangs laden with the fruits of vanity, pride, self-importance, evil desire, extravagance,–all poisoned fruit, but very gratifying to the carnal heart. Let the several churches present to God Christmas trees in every church; and then let them hang thereon the fruits of beneficence and gratitude,–offerings coming from willing hearts and hands, fruits that God will accept as an expression of our faith and our great love to him for the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ. Let the evergreen be laden with fruit, rich, and pure, and holy, acceptable to God. Shall we not have such a Christmas as Heaven can approve? Thousands of dollars are needlessly spent every year in gifts to each other. That is means lost to God, lost to his cause. It pleases the vanity, encourages pride, creates all kinds of dissatisfaction, murmuring, and complaints, because perhaps the gifts are not just what was desired, not of the high value wanted or expected. Christmas is not observed as its name implies it should be. Man has forsaken God in almost everything, and has turned the attention to self. He has left the pure springs of living waters which flow from the throne of God, and hewn out to himself broken cisterns, which can hold no water. God gave man a probation that he might be fitted for heaven. He was to look upward to God, who was to be the soul’s adoration; but talent, skill, and inventive powers are all exercised to make self the supreme object of attention. Man has withdrawn his gaze from Deity, and fastened his eyes upon the finite, the earthly, the corruptible.
(RH, December 9, 1884 par. 10)
Shall we have a Christmas tree? Will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen (like a potted plant today) and placing it in our churches, but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree.
In his wisdom, the Lord concealed the place where he buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him, and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. For the very same purpose he has concealed the precise day of Christ’s birth; that the day should not receive the honour that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world, – one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as he who could save to the uttermost all who come unto him. The soul’s adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God. “There is no divine sanctity resting upon the twenty-fifth of December; and it is not pleasing to God that anything that concerns the salvation of man through the infinite sacrifice made for them, should be so sadly perverted from its professed design. Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for him to come to our world. -R&H 12-9-1884