A Few Thoughts on Christmas

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?

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What Does the X in Xmas Mean? | R.C. Sproul

from Ligonier.org

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.

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Hanukkah: a prelude to Christmas | David Brickner

(Hanukkah begins at sundown on 6 December this year and continues for 8 days.)

From Zola Levitt.com

That’s right, without Hanukkah there would be no Christmas. Yet Hanukkah, also known as the “Feast of Dedication” or the “Festival of Lights,” is not among the holidays God commanded Israel to celebrate in the Old Testament. In fact, you will only find one mention of the holiday in the Bible: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.” (John 10:22-23)

Jesus chose to be in the Temple during this festival. The startling statement He made there is best understood against the background of this feast.

Hanukkah commemorates events that took place during the inter-testamental period, that gap between the Old and New Testaments. The Jewish people were under foreign domination, ruled by the Syrian king Antiochus, who forced them to abandon their culture and religion.

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