I was having a conversation with my husband and mother-in-law and we ended up on the subject of Christmas. She mentioned that she believed one of the younger ladies she works with is unfamiliar with the Bible, specifically the Christmas story. As a Christian, it’s my responsibility to make sure people hear the message of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19).
Before I get started, here’s a little Christmas info for those of you who may be unfamiliar.
- Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas, December 25th.
- Christmas comes from the words, “Christ” meaning “Messiah” or promised savior, and “Mass” which is an observance of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. At the traditional service, believers would partake in communion, honoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, simultaneously celebrating his birth, and death, and resurrection.
- Scholars aren’t sure of the exact date of the birth of Christ. Some existing dates point to mid November, while others (most consensus) say March. In any case, December 25th was probably appropriated as the Christmas holiday to distinguish the celebration of Christ from pagan festivals centered around the winter solstice.
- The Jews celebrate Hanukkah, or the festival of lights. It celebrates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem.
- The birth of Jesus Christ is documented in the Bible in 2 of the 4 Gospels, Matthew (written to Jewish audience), and Luke (written to Gentiles) and each feature slightly different details based on the audience to which they were written. For example, Matthew features the genealogy of Christ, as it was important to show the Jewish people that Jesus was the promised Messiah, descended from Abraham as well as King David. Luke’s documentation was a thorough account and reflects that in the detail included in order to educate people who had no Jewish background regarding the Messiah.
For your reading pleasure, here is the account of the birth of Jesus Christ according to the book of Luke:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough — because there was no room for them at the lodging place. In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
Luke 2:1-20 HCSB
May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and holiday season.