Ask the Pastor 139
How should we think biblically about Christmas?
Christmas is a beautiful, wonderful, joyous holiday. It is a great time with family and friends and is a time of joy and light during the darkest days of the year. It is especially wonderful to see the affect that it has on children with all the color, wonder and gifts. For these reasons and more, it is a holiday worth celebrating to the fullest with all the traditions involved. As believers in the Lord Jesus, we know that the birth of our Lord Jesus is the true reason for the season and it is a bit disheartening that this has to be repeated so often every Christmas season, because it seems to lie in the shadows every year. We know that the real story behind Christmas is the birth of our Lord Jesus, when God became man. As we read every year, the prophets foretold the event and everything occurred just as the prophets said it would. A virgin did conceive of the Holy Spirit and the child was born in Bethlehem. Angels came and told shepherds who went to see the baby in a manger. Wise men from the East read the prophet Daniel and proceeded to follow a special star to the house where the young child was some 1 to 2 years later. The birth of our Lord most likely occurred in the Spring around the same period of time as of His death 33 years later. It was the time of the year when shepherds were out in the fields and a time when it would be more conducive weather to travel to Bethlehem for both Mary and Joseph and for all those travelling to their place of birth to register for the census. Over the course of years, the birth of our Lord has come to be celebrated at the time of the feast of Saturn celebrated at the winter solstice on December 25, with a yule log and evergreen tree, long before our Lord’s birth. A generous and joyful man who loved to give gifts to children became St. Nicholas and then Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer. The gifts went from nuts, fruits and candy to balls, dolls, bicycles and then to electronic gadgets exceeding both budgets and imagination. Through it all, true biblical believers will remember that the greatest story ever told includes the greatest gift of all, that began at a manger and ended at a cross and an empty tomb.
Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at firstname.lastname@example.org and read the answer here in this article.