The birth of Jesus so many centuries ago might have been a slightly-out-of-the-ordinary birth. Even in ancient times, stalls didn’t typically double as birthing rooms and mangers didn’t typically double as cribs for new-born babies. And that newborn baby was very much out of the ordinary. Of course, in some respects, He was perfectly ordinary. He was a human being, a baby. He got hungry. He got thirsty. He got tired. When He was born, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes—the ancient equivalent of Pampers.
An infant. Helpless, hungry, cold, and tired.
Yet, this child was the Son of God incarnate. He was Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” According to the Apostle Paul’s account, this infant created all things. This infant created His own manger. And this infant, this King, brings peace on earth, ultimate and permanent peace.
This may very well be my last Christmas (as defined by most people) to participate in. I have grown tired of the crass commercialization, the shallow sentimentalism and the idol worship that accompanies the observance of many during this occasion, and sadly by, many who claim the Name of Jesus.
I have researched it greatly and most scholars agree that Yeshua of Nazareth was most likely not born in our month of December but rather during early fall; some even stating they think He was born around the time of the Jewish festival of Sukkot which is late September or early October. And since the Gospel writers failed to mention the date or time of the birth of the Messiah could we conclude that it was never intended to be an occasion to be observed lest it become an idol. December 25th didn’t become significant until the fourth century when the Roman church began to observe December 25th as Christ’s Mass.
The emphasis has long gotten away from a celebration of the birth of the Savior to a celebration of self, even in churches. Never mind the items associated with Christmas that are said to have pagan roots, Christmas has become a time of stressful buying, shopping for bargains and trying to buy more and more, especially for children so they won’t get their feelings hurt.
Sometimes prayers are said, maybe even a reading from Luke 2, but more times than not its more about Dirty Santa parties, special TV programs and spending money. However the rest of the year very little focus is given to the birth and life of Messiah.
Why can’t we get away from focusing on ourselves and our felt-needs and instead focus on the Lord Jesus and serving Him. Sure, Christmas is a great time to help the needy and to show love for one another, but, shouldn’t we be doing that the rest of the days of the year too?
Why wait for one day of the year to glorify and praise Him; to celebrate the occasion when God became flesh and dwelt among us; to magnify the birth of the Messiah? Why can’t we do that every day of the year? Why can’t we stop focusing on us and what we want and focus on Him and what He wants?
The X in Christmas is used like the R in R.C. My given name at birth was Robert Charles, although before I was even taken home from the hospital my parents called me by my initials, R.C., and nobody seems to be too scandalized by that.
X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.