This is the star that shone on the stable that sheltered the manger that held the miracle that changed the world!
May the miracle of Christmas shine brightly on you.
Unto US a Child is born…
And His Name shall be called Emmanuel (meaning: God with us)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin
shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”
This is the Gift of Christmas:
6 For unto us a Child is born,
The Miracle of Christmas is that God did for us, through His only begotten (unique) Son), Jesus Christ, what we could not do for ourselves!
Mankind was lost; we had no hope and could not bridge the gap and estrangement between us and our Creator that was left by Adam and Eve’s transgression; and so God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, in order to communicate the Father’s love to us; and in so doing Jesus Christ (our Messiah) offered Himself as our substitute and thereby paid our debt and our penalty, for our transgression.
This is the time of the year where we recognize this most precious and wonderful Gift that was given for us, by celebrating His birth.
It’s not about materialism, sales, and the economy; it’s not even just about our having warm fuzzy feelings about family and about each other, and nor is it just about our giving gifts to each other.
All of that is fine, but we shouldn’t forget the real reason for the season; and yes even though we can know from history and from scripture that Jesus’ birth was not in the middle of Winter, on December 25th, but rather it was in the fall of the year that Jesus was born, during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.
When was Jesus really born?
Well thanks to the writings of a Jewish historian, by the name of Josephus, and also to Holy Scripture, it is possible for us to determine the time of the year when Jesus was born.
It is because of these two accounts that we can plot the time from when John the Baptist’s father (Zacharias) was offering his service in the Holy Temple to the birth of our Saviour.
King David (in 1 Chronicles 24:1-4) divided the sons of Aaron into 24 courses or groups to create a schedule by which the Holy Temple could be staffed.
Once these courses were established lots where drawn to determine the sequence whereby each group would serve in the Temple. (1 Chronicles 24: 7-19)
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
8 Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.
Since Abijah was the eighth course, that would have placed Zacharias’ service in the temple sometime around June.
We are told in Luke 1: 23-24 that when Zacharias’ service in the Temple was ended, that he went to his home; and it was then that his wife Elizabeth conceived.
24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said,25 “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
In verse 26 we also learn that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit during the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (June + 6 months = December), and so that would mean that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit sometime around December.
28 And the Angel Gabriel came to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.
33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
So now you add 9 months to December and that means Jesus had to be born sometime in September, during the Feast of Tabernacles (when God came to tabernacle with man), which makes sense because the time to collect taxes would be at the end of the harvest, not in the dead of Winter.
Nevertheless, since December 25th is the day that has traditionally been set aside to recognizes and to celebrate our Saviour’s birth, and whereas I think it is right to teach the truth regarding this history, I see no reason why we can’t celebrate this joyous occasion on any day, including December 25th.
With that said, the reason why Jesus came is the TRUE meaning of Christmas; and all the rest of the tradition and culture is fine because it does serve to bring us all closer together; but still let us who are Christians not allow the world to take Jesus out of Christmas, as they are trying to do; but rather let us remember always to keep the main event front and center, which is Jesus Christ; that we each had a debt we could not pay, which Jesus paid for us; and it was His entry into the world that shows us what God’s grand design is for us all, who are called by His name, in what God expects of us, who follow as Jesus’ disciples!
Jesus is the reason for the Season and He is also our example to follow; and so like Him so must we also be about our Father’s business.
So with that being my soapbox speech for the season, I want to wish ALL of you a very…