Various Christian faiths celebrate Christmas, including Pentecostals. Although there are strong scholarly arguments suggesting Jesus was probably born in late September, Pentecostals “deck the halls” because they find value in giving praise to the birth of Christ, regardless of the potential seasonal inaccuracy of His birth. Most Pentecostals celebrate Christmas while finding peace within the season to use as fuel for inspirational worship. They also celebrate the Holy Spirit’s place within the Christmas story and the Virgin birth. Pentecostal churches across the country put on Christmas programs to glorify God.
A Time For Christmas Worship
Christmas evokes a festive time of worship within Pentecostal communities across the country. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship showcases a Pentecostal worship service during the Christmas season as a celebratory time to thank God for the gift of His son. One such Pentecostal prayer reads as follows: “we rehearse again the account of the loving purpose of God from the first days of our disobedience to the glorious appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. We rejoice, in carols and hymns, that the good purpose of God is being mightily fulfilled."
Ho Ho Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is an essential part of the Pentecostal observance of Christmas. Pentecostal Evangel states that, “Pentecostal Christians might naturally contemplate where the Holy Spirit fits into the Trinity’s timeless plan for redemption. He is absolutely present and active." During Christmas time Pentecostal worshipers will often focus on the book of Luke from the Bible, as “its opening chapters are a treasure trove of Christmas vignettes about the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit and “the Christmas spirit” can be regarded as interchangeable entities both void of form, but both potent when it comes to instilling comfort to the soul.
Honoring the Virgin
Pentecostals may not pray to the Virgin as Catholics do, but they honor her for being touched by the Holy Spirit and made to be a vessel to carry the Christ Child. The Virgin Mary serves as a model of a young woman who dedicated herself to the workings of the Holy Spirit. She stands as a figure to praise and is therefore a popular Christmas image. Just try driving through a neighborhood known for decorating with Christmas lights and you are bound to see several nativity scenes featuring the Virgin.
Pentecostal Christmas Programs
Pentecostals are known for having Christmas programs that incorporate multiple facets of the holiday. Simply go to YouTube and search the numerous Pentecostal Christmas program videos and you will see choirs singing Handel’s ‘Messiah,' church members performing biblical and holiday skits, scenes from Christmas classics such as ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,' and praise songs celebrating the birth of Jesus. The Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Philadelphia showcases their 2012 program online, illustrating participation from small children reciting text to choirs praising the birth of Jesus. The Pentecostal beliefs about Christmas are clearly revealed through their festive programs and uplifting worship services that take place around the holiday season.
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