Sunday, December 22, 2019

Does God Sanction the Celebrating of Jesus' Birth?

There is not a Christmas season that arrives that does not bring with it discussion and even discord over the actual birthday of Jesus. It seems to me that Christian brothers and sisters would not squabble over such a small thing. It might be a good thing to remember the teachings of Jesus relating to loving each other. But, since many seem stuck on resolving minor meaningless differences I decided to put my 2 cents worth in.

Let's start with what we know for sure about His date of birth. What we know for sure is we really don't know. We do know that there are several dates that have people who will swear are the correct birth date. There are some that say it had to be in May, and they can provide their "evidence" proving it. And there are those who say it had to be in September, and they also can provide their "evidence" proving it. Of course there is the ongoing debate regarding December 25th vs. January 6th. Yes, there are those who have "proof" that the birth of Jesus truly is December 25th. If you are interested is some of the pro December 25th arguments you may want to visit the Wikipedia site at the bottom of this article.

The truth is rather than focusing on whether the date we celebrate His birth is the correct date, we probably ought to think about if we should celebrate it at all. There are some out there that think we should not. Usually they will point to Deuteronomy 12:28-31, which reads:

28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.

29 The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." 31 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Personally, I do not believe that the above scripture prohibits Christians recognizing or celebrating the birth of Jesus.

In any event, the date really doesn't matter. If God had decided it was important He would have made the date clear. He did not, however He did give us quite a bit of information about the birth, so He felt that it was important. I would agree it is not as important as the resurrection, but it did have to happen first. I think what is important is our attitude towards Christmas. There are those who believe Christmas is a compromise with paganism and others who have other problems with Christmas. Trust me, I have heard it all. Having said that, December 25th happens to be the day we observe as the birth of Jesus. If I am going to observe it at all, I will do so on that date. I guess I could observe it in May or September but I probably won't see quite as many Nativity scenes.

So, how should Christians celebrate Christmas? I believe it is important to remember that Christmas is really about gifts. Oh, not the temporal material gifts that it seems to have become about, but the gifts Jesus gave us. Christ gave us gifts of eternal value: His love and companionship along with gifts of salvation, forgiveness of sins, the indwelling Holy Spirit, His righteousness, peace, joy, wise counsel, healed minds, restored relationships, and adoption into His eternal home. Now those are some gifts I am glad I received!

I hope you always appreciate Christmas but from the correct perspective.

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