You may think it odd timing, but think about it…
Historically, Jesus’ birth was likely not on December 25th. That date was set as the celebration a long time ago, and established in the church calendar to coincide with the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice. At the time, church leaders were seeking ways to include followers of other faiths in the Christian celebrations. For this reason, some Christians have stopped celebrating Christmas. Historians estimate the blessed event to have happened some time in October. There are several historical and biblical discrepancies in traditions of the season. For example, the Bible does not specify how many Magi there were; however, it does say that they found Mary and the young child about two years later “in the house”. But the tradition makes a beautiful nativity scene.
But really… does it matter when we celebrate the birth of our Savior? Shouldn’t we celebrate Emanuel all the time? The miracle of God becoming one of us should affect every day of our lives. Choosing to celebrate on December 25th does not make us pagans. Regardless of the non-Christian origins of many of the season’s traditions, observing them does not invalidate our celebration. God has used pagan nations and practices to show His glory and fulfill His will. For example, the ancient Roman Empire built superior roads connecting the entire empire (which included most of the civilized world at that time). When the Romans began persecuting the Christians, it caused them to scatter. The road system made travel easier, and theses believers took the gospel with them wherever they went. God had used the Roman empire to spread His good news.
As the season approaches, we must resist the world’s attempts to take Christ out of Christmas. Commercialism breeds despair, particularly in our economy. Giving gifts is a wonderful thing, especially joyful when we give in remembrance of the gift we received from our heavenly Father in Jesus.
Glorify God in all we do in all seasons. Celebrate Emanuel (God With Us) every day. Be a beacon of joy this Christmas. Do not wish anyone a “happy holidays” or “merry X-mas”. Respond with love: “Peace on earth, and goodwill to all”.