Sunday, December 25, 2011
The birth of Christ did not occur 2,011 years ago on this date. It is possible the month and day were picked to worship His birth under the cover of an existing Roman holiday, to keep a low profile, to not garner the attention of authorities with edicts to wipe out the spreading belief that Jesus was the Messiah.
There were no evergreen trees, decorated or not, mentioned in the writings of His birth. Trees and burning yule logs came from other practices, other beliefs.
There was a believer, a saint, Nicholas, who had a reputation for gift giving. Transforming him into a non-Christian jolly old elf living in the north pole took centuries of stories, politics and a general disbelief, along with a desire to continue gift-giving practices.
Nativity scenes depict the holy family, angels, shepherds, wise men, camels, donkeys, sheep, cows – but not all of those were in the same place at the same time in the biblical account of Jesus first year.
What should we do? Ignore the celebration? Partake of festivities without believing them? Correct everyone we meet with our views of how it should be? It is a personal decision.
We’ve chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus as our:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)
We believe and celebrate the angel’s message:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 KJV)
Like Mary, we will think on these things:
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 KJV)
That included Simeon’s affirmation of faith:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:30-32 KJV)
Anna, too, knew who and what He was:
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38 KJV)
So, my husband and I will gather with other family members, both church and biological, and celebrate God’s gift to mankind. We celebrate a personal relationship with a living Lord who plans spanned creation:
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (1 Peter 1:20 KJV)
And, as Job, I will use this season to affirm that my redeemer lives!
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:23-25 KJV)