There is nothing holy about Christmas, according to gospel music singing Pastor Donnie McClurkin.
"We have to stop looking for the accoutrements that come with the holiday. There's nothing holy about the day," McClurkin said during an interview posted to Periscope on Friday. "We look for all the the accoutrements — the lights, the gifts, the ability to provide opulent stuff for our children. That's never what Jesus wanted for us."
McClurkin, the 56-year-old senior pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York — who's also a Grammy Award winning gospel singer — is in Lagos, Nigeria, for the 10th annual event called "The Experience." The event brings ministers and singers together from around the world to speak about their faith and McClurkin did just that when he was questioned about what to tell people struggle during the Christmas season.
The singer offered those struggling an apology for the misrepresentation of what Christmas should be.
"I apologize to them for society making it something seasonal. 'Tis' the season to be jolly,' when you don't have money; 'tis the season to be jolly,' when you don't have a home," McClurkin said. "You have family problems, you have emotional problems. We forget and we compartmentalize God, but He's an everyday Jesus.
"It's not just a Christmas, yuletide merry feeling. He is the God that loves us 365 days of the year," McClurkin continued. "As He has provided for us before Christmas, He is providing for us during and after."
McClurkin knows what it feels like to struggle with sadness and grief during the holiday season after the death of his 13-year-old niece, Trinity, in October marked the fourth death his family has endured in four years. With the death of his father, mother and sister earlier this year and now his niece, the pastor and entertainer has relied on God's grace to keep ministering during both good and bad times.
"The definition of grace is the supernatural ability to do what you cannot do in the natural, and God graces us to do what He's called us to do," he previously told The Christian Post. "He put just enough hours in a day, just enough days in a week and just enough weeks in a month for us to accomplish things.