The early church didn’t give much thought to the birth of Jesus. Of the four Gospels only Matthew and Luke even mention His birth, and these accounts are relatively brief. Certainly, the emphasis of the Gospels was on Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. And after Jesus ascended to Heaven, the focus of the church was on living for Him, sending out His message, and waiting for His return.
No one is really sure when Jesus was born. The first recorded celebration didn’t occur until 200 years after His birth, and it wasn’t until the year 330 that the birth of Christ was assigned to December 25th. Some say Jesus was actually born in September or October and others are sure He was born in March or April (in fact, a case has been made for His birth in each of the twelve months!). But it is generally agreed that, due to the relatively colder weather, December was an unlikely time for the birth of our Savior. So what really is Christmas?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
These verses refer to Jesus Christ as “the Word” who was with God in the beginning and at the same time was God Himself. Though it is difficult to understand, Jesus left His Heavenly dwelling to begin life with us as a little baby. He “made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). This sacrifice represents a whole lot of love!
Christmas is a day to remember the most profound event in the history of the world. On that first Christmas (whenever it was), God came to earth to live among us! He was born into the most humble circumstances, grew and taught us His truths, died on a cross for our sin, and was raised to be with The Father; all so we might live with Him for eternity.
December 25th is a day to celebrate with quiet reflection, as Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). It is also a day to celebrate with great rejoicing, as the shepherds “returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). The world has tried to remove Christ and insert many activities into this season which do not glorify God. But this need not hinder our worship. We have the ability to turn away the evil and embrace that which is honoring and good.
We can (and should) glorify God and celebrate the gift of our Savior every day throughout the year. But let’s take the opportunity to make this season and this day special. Let’s celebrate with a focused and thankful heart, and make December 25th a blessed day of remembrance.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries