• Pastor Scott

What is Christmas About?

As we end November, we must ask the question of why we do what we do. For the next month many on earth celebrate. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah to remember the work of God keeping lamps lit. Christians celebrate Jesus coming to earth. Old pagan culture celebrated Yule. So, what is it about this time of year? Simply put light. The festival of Yule was based on the changing of seasons and it marks both the start and end of winter. That is to say winter starts but light begins to come back to the days in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hanukkah celebrates the power of God keeping a lamp burning without oil to refill it for 7 days. It makes for the Jews light the burned at one of the darkest parts of their history.

And Christmas? Isaiah 9:2-7 ESV [2] The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. [3] You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. [4] For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. [5] For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”

Jesus the light of the world is marked as coming. Now fun fact Jesus is not born in December but March. So why do we celebrate in December? When the church grew in the early days it had an issue. What do we do with Pagans and Pagan holidays? The answer for the church was mix them. Thus, the winter solstice festival became the time to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Why mention this? Because that change is one time that mixing was a good idea. What does it mean to have Jesus’ birth celebrated in December? It means in the northern hemisphere light has reached the shortest point in the year. In America evening and night is fully begun by 5PM. Darkness is the longest and most it is the entire year. In that same way the Bible tells us that before the birth of Jesus people walked in darkness. A darkness of sin, of pain, of loss. A darkness with little hope. If you were not a Jewish person in that time you had no connection to the God of the Bible.

Then in one night a child is born. Jesus is born and now at last in the darkness there is a great light. Think of it. A star shines in the sky, angels come and sing, the very fabric of creation is shaken to its core. Because Light has come to the earth. Jesus has come, and He brings with Him all of heaven to earth. So, as you prepare for this season reflect and see what is going on. (At least in this hemisphere) winter is here, darkness is here, but God will bring Light. Jesus came and His Light burns for us all.

This Christmas come to see your lights as a reflection of this. Because this time of year all of us celebrate the return of light. But in Christ it is not just the return of natural light, but it is an ever-burning Light that says to us sinners on earth “ [10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-14 KJV

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