Lord's Day Liturgy

A Contumelious Wall

How do you measure if you’re celebrating Christmas in a godly way? How do you measure if you’re celebrating communion in a godly way? There is a connection.

It’s common for Christians, who at least are the ones who care about godliness, to take a simplistic approach to godliness by building a contumelious wall between the spiritual and the material. We read, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Does that settle everything? But, God said to love our neighbor, and he is certainly “in the world.” Even more, “God so loved the world,” and that is why He sent His Son into the world.

Some of what we need to do is define our terms. “World” (or cosmos in Greek) has perhaps 16 different uses/referents in the New Testament (see A. W. Pink’s Appendix in The Sovereignty of God). When the apostle John wrote not to love the world, he then defined what he meant: “all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of possessions” (1 John 2:16). There are things/loves/pursuits/attitudes that can ruin Christmas. But Christmas itself, just because it is in the world, isn’t for our ruin at all.

Back to answering the first paragraph questions. You measure your godly celebration of Christmas by the degree of love for God and neighbor while setting up the tree, et cetera, just as you measure your godly celebration of communion by the degree of thankfulness as you eat the bread and drink the wine. Godliness isn’t simply about getting out of the body or out of the world, otherwise God wouldn’t have taken on a body and come into the world. “As often as you eat this read and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”