Here we are celebrating and rejoicing yet again the birth of our Lord and Savior, even though many scholars say his real birthdate was in September! Christmas is a wonderful mixture of tradition, religion, and reality. Thanks to the “sanctified imagination” of artists, songwriters, and a long line of preachers and academics, we have what is called Christmastide or the Christmas Season. The politically correct have signs and cards that say “Happy Holidays,” forgetting that the word “holidays” comes from Holy Days! How blind and mixed up can the world get?
I’m one of “the people of the Book” as the Muslims call Christians and Jews, and when I go to the Book we call God’s Word, there is not a lot of detail in the Christmas story. Mark’s gospel doesn’t shed any light and John’s gospel gives the spiritual backstory and then simply says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV). Matthew starts with a few verses at the end of chapter one on Joseph’s part in God’s plan and in one verse speaks of the actual birth. Then in chapter 2 his is the only gospel to record the visit of the wise men from the East. Luke gives us 20 verses on the actual birth in his chapter two.
With so little recorded facts of this world-changing event, it is no wonder that believers have attempted to fill the gaps, in art and song and ceremony. I’m not opposed to that; at least people are thinking about Jesus or hearing his name at this time of year. But when their imagination depicts something that is opposite of what the Word says, then I have to speak out. Read More