Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m getting my usual emails that Christmas is a pagan holiday brought in by catholics, and that you shouldn’t celebrate because it’s unholy pagan worship. Hey, here’s a thought, maybe if you admit to that then the atheists will leave you alone. Shoot, the British Commonwealth countries have the pagan day the day after on Boxing Day, haven’t heard an atheist complain about that yet.
No, really, I get emails that it is the wrong day (much like the Easter thing) or the right date and we can prove it. So what is the right date?
Catholic tradition dates Christmas from the Annunciation plus 9 months even though they date the Annunciation back counted from Christmas. Well someone got that one wrong anyway because it leaves a 5 day error from a 40 week gestation period. And much of this association is wave of hand dogma. If you want more of an education on these dogmas then take into account the “Assumption” and you will be thoroughly convinced that to assume makes an A** of U and Me (pardon the french).
Others have done the astronomical and astrological physics to date the birth using Rev 12:1-5 which I’m more impressed with, given that it is actually verifiable. It’s exciting to see that the birth is on the day of trumpets and the fulfillment of scriptures lining up. The only problem is that it falls on September 11 3BC, I don’t think Christmas on 911 would fly very well here in the states.
So how does this December 25th come about? Remembering Paul’s admonishment concerning dates and times is this accuracy important? Remembering the Christ’s birth and death is important, when, not so much. Sue and I celebrate His birth, death and resurrection on a daily basis, so what of Christmas?
The infant church wouldn’t have been tied to Roman paganism, but they also wouldn’t have known for a certainty when He was born because the Jews did not celebrate birthdays,birthdays are pagan holidays (dwell on that for a bit, we over 50 who ignore our birthdays). To the Jew a birthday was not significant because of the belief that life starts at conception. But they did want to remember His birth and they did have a tradition. The celebration of Chanukah. Traditionally the Festival of lights when the Maccabees won freedom for the Jews, cleaned and purified the Temple. In rededicating the Temple they only had one days worth of oil, but God miraculously extended the oil for 8 days. It may well be that the Christ’s birth was celebrated on Chanukah, the 25th, a fitting time to celebrate the fulfillment, the sacrifice, restoration and purification by the Christ on our behalf. It’s interesting to note that Chanukah is about 9 months before the Feast of Trumpets, conception day, the start of life. As antisemitism grew and the Roman calendar ruled and the 25th was kept as December 25th. In a couple hundred years replacement theology would take over and Jewish history removed. And so, for a period of time, fact.
So, which do you prefer? What’s important to you? Fact, fiction, tradition? One thing is for certain, Jesus, the Christ, was born, did live among men, was crucified and rose again and was lifted back to the Father. He fulfilled the prophecies, made the sacrifice and paid the price for your sins and mine. And He offers you a gift. No matter where you are in life this is a gift that matters and it is offered to you. If you haven’t recognized your sin, if you haven’t come to Jesus, take this time, now, to receive this free gift, in faith. If you get no other gift this season, know this, that God loves you and wants you returned into the fold. Take this free gift now, make this your birthday.
Merry Christmas and God bless,
Dan & Sue