Article of the Month
Christmas and Easter are the two major religious
holidays of liturgical churches. Christmas, obviously,
has become the single largest celebration—now extending
beyond its liturgical beginnings to a frantic,
commercialized super-holiday (celebrated by many with
little or no Christian connections).
In this brief Article of the Month, we want to go to the
simplicity of the season and its significance in the
framework of God’s plan for us.
There are dry facts about Christmas. We will mention
them hurriedly because they are not our focus:
it is relatively easy to establish that Jesus’ birth was
in the vicinity of early October, not December 25th.
Thus, late December probably was the time that Gabriel
announced to Mary that she would have Jesus.
2. The greatly celebrated pagan holiday, The
Saturnalia, was in late December in the Roman Empire.
It is likely that the growing apostate church utilized
that popular date as an exciting season to celebrate and
emphasize Jesus’ birth.
“Christmas” comes from “Christ’s Mass” and, thus, was
not likely so called before the establishment of “the
Mass,” sometime about the Fourth Century.
3. The celebration of Jesus’ birth is not a
Scripturally- designated obligation for Christians.
However, it is an important event, and it clearly
brought the rejoicing and singing of angels at its
occurrence. (Luke 2:-15) If angels sang, so can we!
If kings brought gifts to the newborn king, it is not
inappropriate if we, in the same spirit, exchange
little remembrances to express the joy of the
significance of the event.
THE MEANING OF THE EVENT
Jesus was born to die. He came to be a purchaser of the
forfeited life rights of Adam. (Luke 2:35; Galatians
4:4,5; Hebrews 2:9; I Corinthians 15:21, 22) Thus, in
the plan of things, Jesus’ death was immeasurably more
important than his birth. In harmony with this, he
does instruct his disciples to memorialize (or
celebrate) his death. (I Corinthians 11:24-26)
However, he never could have offered his humanity unless
he had first been born—the exact perfect human
equivalent of Adam. (Hebrews 2:6, 7 compared to Hebrews
The angels emphasized the ultimate object and importance
of this special birth:
Luke 2:10 The event launched “tidings of GREAT JOY.”
Luke 2:10 This GREAT JOY would eventually belong “TO
Luke 2:11 Jesus was come TO SAVE the world.
Luke 2:14 This birth was to eventuate in the true
glorification of God.
Luke 2:14 It will eventuate in PEACE ON EARTH!
The prophets had earlier predicted the same great
events. Isaiah, for example, detailed:
2:2, 3 God’s Kingdom would eventually rule with
2:4 War and its weapons will become extinct.
9:6 Jesus will take over the government of
9:7 Eternal peace and order will result.
11:3 Perfect judgment and righteousness will
11:6-9 Ecological balance and harmony will
Ignorance will be a thing of the past.
The testimonies from Isaiah and all the other prophets
go on and on and on. The birth of Jesus was the birth
of the finest hopes of all mankind—believer and
(current) unbeliever alike. (I Timothy 4:10)
With these elegant and simple truths and hopes, we wish
you a joyous season of contemplation of the life and joy
awaiting the earth resulting from the birth, life, and
death of Jesus, our Lord.