It’s Who Not When

Let’s settle in this week to celebrate Jesus who was born of a virgin, through the Holy Spirit of God. Some will not celebrate Christmas thinking that no one knows the date of Jesus’ earthly birth, so it is wrong to celebrate it in December. I think of my son and daughter-in-law who adopted two children from China. They don’t know the exact date of one of the births, so they picked a date. They celebrate the birth of their child on that date that was picked. You may say, ‘but that’s not right, we can’t celebrate when we don’t know the date.” But you would be missing the point in both cases. The purpose of celebrating a birthday is celebrating the fact of the birth. It doesn’t matter when that happens, for it is the event, not the date that is important. The date of Jesus’ birth is really not that important, because it is the event that is so important among Christians. Yes, the world has tried to make it into something that it is not, and that’s alright, for we know what we are celebrating, don’t we? If we celebrate Christmas for the sake of Santa Claus, and presents and the gathering together to eat a Christmas meal, without recognizing the praise that goes to God for this great gift He has given to the world, then we are no different than the world. But if we celebrate the fact; if we celebrate the event, and celebrate the giver of the gift, then we will realize what Christmas is all about. Picture a time when there were shepherds out with their flocks at night, diligent so that no predators would sneak in and steal the sheep: “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!” Luke 2:8-14 Nowwhere in that passage do they mention “In the year” which is their dating system, because it wasn’t important what the date was, for the event was something of great joy worthy of praising God for, worthy of celebration that God found favor with the people of earth to bring a Savior who is called Messiah (Christ). As with most things in our lives, we get complacent with things. Our prayers, our praise, our reading, and our worship. But this week, as we lead up to the day we celebrate, we can start now. We can once again get to know our Jesus, and read about the EVENTS, which is what we celebrate. Let’s step into the sandals of the shepherds; let’s listen as Mary ponders the things said by Elizabeth, her cousin, as she herself worships He who is in Mary’s womb. Even the baby in her womb jumped for joy at the presence of Mary, who was with child, stood in front of her. Let’s bring back the praise of Who this season is celebrated for. Let the world celebrate what they want to, but let’s not follow them, but rather, set the stage to show them the true reason for the season, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pastor Andy

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