“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
It’s time for my annual Christmas post about the timing of Christmas. I find this necessary because there are always those folks out there who want to tell Christians that they have the timing of their faith wrong.
To wit, the oft repeated—Christ was not born on December 25th. Well duh. But could you please enlighten people everywhere with the EXACT day? While you’re at it, personally I’m curious about the birthdates of Plato, Aristotle, and Scipio Africanus. There are many scholars who share my interest and would be glad to hear from you.
Although we don’t know the precise day (or even the year) that any of these men were born, the fact remains they were born. Therefore, should we choose to throw them a birthday party, one day is pretty much the same as the next. As St. Paul put it, “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it…”
Now, Christmas trees and other age-old symbols of the holiday are somewhat of a problem. Howbeit not in the manner many folks assume. The problem lies not in coopting them without understanding where they originated. The problem lies in the motivation behind adopting them at all—wanting to look like everyone else.
That fault is mitigated somewhat because the motivation has roots in love. When many of my Christian brothers and sisters were growing up, they were forced to dress in the strict confines of a particular segment of the faith. As they, and their children, now point out, that was embarrassing and, in some cases, hurtful. They wanted to be like the other kids. And this call for conformity was the argument that eventually won their parents’ hearts.
Now suppose you are a parent, and a winter celebration children love is going on. Do you forbid your children from celebrating with the others or adapt in such a way as to give them a little happiness? I’m not saying one way or the other is right or wrong. I’m simply asking how you would apply a practical solution to the problem.
I’m not even close to being a fan of Trunk or Treat or Fall Festivals, but I understand why they are in vogue. I don’t twist myself in knots decrying the participants who choose to celebrate in that fashion.
Tradition is only harmful when it supplants faith. Christ was born in Bethlehem on a day of God’s own choosing. As He has yet to send a revelation as to the exact date and has chosen not to object to the current situation (as He did with the prophets of old) there is little need to alter the current practice.
God’s gift of a Savior, and an open door to His kingdom, have their roots in a time before the Creation. Pick a day—any day—or better yet, every day, and celebrate it by praising God and His unspeakable gift.
Here’s a gift of timeless wisdom. He that has an ear, let him hear.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”