Getting into the Christmas spirit


A friend is getting into the Christmas spirit by not getting into the Christmas spirit.  He will work Christmas Day, he will not participate in gift exchanges, he will send no cards, and will not be going to any holiday parties.  He will go to the Christmas dinner held by the church he attends, but that is it.  The curious thing is, he intends to observe Christmas by not celebrating Christmas.  In his reasoning, he wants Christmas to be like any other day, and he wants every day to be Christmas—well, it’s just plain confusing.


It’s confusing, but I think I see where he’s coming from, and what’s more, I kind’a sort’a agree with him.  If we look at all the things people generally get wrong about the Christmas holiday, we might change our own opinions about it:

First, Christmas is not Jesus’ birthday celebration.  I recall when Felisi Sworge, an exchange student from Nigeria, was given a birthday party by some of his college friends.  He was a little baffled by the cake, candles, wrapped gifts and decorations and festivities.  He explained that in Nigeria, birthdays were not treated any differently than other days.  It was like this in the Middle East at the time of Christ.  This was not to lessen the significance of a person’s birth, but such events did not warrant annual parties. 

And it is certain that Jesus was not born on December 25th.  There is no settled agreement as to the exact date, but we should not lose sleep over it, Personally, I favor April 17, B.C. 6, and somewhere I have heard the suggestion that Jesus was perhaps crucified on His birthday.  However, I won’t worry about tracking these details down to the exact day, hour and minute.

Christmas is not merely the acknowledgement or celebration of the birth of baby Jesus.  True, there were some who received the news that this baby was (and is) the Messiah, and though this was greatly significant to those involved, they could not comprehend its full import. 

But there is more to it.  Called Yeshua by His Jewish parents, this newborn mass of flesh, wrapped in swaddling clothes, held in His mother’s bosom, His eyes closed, His tiny hands and feet twitching—this baby was God Incarnate!

God, who became flesh, and dwelt among us—this baby—well, it will give you a headache to try to comprehend this all at once.  We may wonder why God would do this in the first place.  The New Testament book of Hebrews has an answer:

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

“Tempted as we are,” and able to “sympathize with our weaknesses”? 

It’s difficult to put in words, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try.  We will stay on this subject through Christmas.  Of course, your comments are welcome.    

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Craig Hall
Publisher and owner of Heavener Ledger and