By Lisa Grace
Many Christians today like to celebrate Christ's birth on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. However, we can rest assured, Jesus was not born on December 24th or 25th.
How do we know for sure? Two events mentioned in the Bible give us clues.
First of all, the Roman tax days in Rome were in April. They would collect them in the city, and then move out to the foreign lands. Best guess, they were in Bethlehem probably around the month we know of as May or even possibly June. The Bible mentions Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem to pay their taxes.
Secondly, the shepherds would not have been out in the fields with their flocks any later than October. It was too cold. It was common for the shepherds to bring their flocks into big pens in the cities, or even barns. There wouldn’t be any grazing opportunities in winter.
So why December? To take it back from the pagan gods. Many pagan religions celebrate their gods’ births around the winter solstice. http://countermissionary.org/articles/xmas4bn.htm
The tree, wassail, yule logs, stockings, Saint Nick, all come from original pagan roots.
I like to joke with my daughter that the only modern thing tied to Christ is the plastic Christmas tree, since the plastic trees were invented to honor Christ.
Since God created the world and all things in the world, is it wrong to take back these traditions to honor Christ? This is an are that is open to much debate.
Reading the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, the messages delivered to Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds by the angels, which is one of the most joyous interactions mentioned with supernatural creatures in the Bible. The dream that told Joseph and Mary to avoid Herod; the star (now assumed to be two planets, one behind the other) that lead the wise men (Matt 2:11) to Jesus, approximately four months later. The strange gift of Myrrh, (which was used for preservation of dead bodies.) http://ww2.netnitco.net/~legend01/myrrh.htm
There is nothing wrong with celebrating our Savior’s birth. Taking back things for His glory is what we are supposed to do. Being aware of how the creation and the things in it were perverted to honor other gods is just smart, so history won’t repeat itself again, and we can be open to how these things can take us away from our Savior.
Go into the season with a heart filled with love for your Savior, wonder at the awesomeness of God, sorrow for your sin, charity and mercy to your fellowman, and going forth as a blessing to friends, neighbors, and strangers; well you can’t go wrong with those attitudes if you can hold them in your heart for more than just a season. Merry Christmas.