Yeshua is not a Tree Ornament

1/7/2007

speech bubble representing person 1 talkingI have a question about the Christmas Day. As the children of God, together, is it good that we can celebrate the Christmas day?

speech bubble representing person 3 talkingWell, we could give a very long answer about the history of Christmas, that it never started until hundreds of years after Jesus. But let’s just go with a very short answer since I know everyone is tired and hungry.

Let’s take the “Luke scientist” approach again just for a moment. Who is Jesus’ mother? Mary. Do you see any time in the Bible where Mary talks about or celebrates Jesus’ birthday? Anywhere? Sixty years? Ok. Next point. Jude and James were Jesus’ half brothers, right? They were Joseph and Mary’s sons, Jude and James. Let’s read James together. “Happy Birthday, dear Jesus.” No! His own brother never mentioned His birthday. Let’s read the book of Jude together. “Happy Birthday, dear brother Jesus.” His own brother never mentioned His birthday.

Who celebrates your birthday with you? Your mother? Your brothers and sisters? Perhaps your best friends? Who were Jesus’ best friends? Peter? Oh! “Happy Birthday, dear Jesus.” Peter never mentioned Jesus’ birthday? When it is the most important day of the year? With Santa Claus, trees, and lights, and gifts? Peter never mentioned Jesus’ birthday? Oh, I know! John was the disciple Jesus loved. Maybe that was His best friend. Ok. Gospel of John. First John. Second John. Third John. “Happy Birthday, dear best friend Jesus.” Sorry! How about Luke the Scientist? Thirty years of watching the church very carefully as a scientist would and giving an orderly account, O Theophilus. Thirty “Happy Birthdays.” Thirty of them in the book of Acts. One “Happy Birthday,” then another “Happy Birthday,” then another “Happy Birthday…” I’m sorry. John, Jude, James, Peter, Mary, Luke—if none of those people made a big deal out of Jesus’ birthday, maybe I don’t need to, either.

It was over 300 years before the historians found any record of things like that happening. Three hundred years later, someone got a bright idea to do something His own mother didn’t make a big deal out of. And I think I know why the people that loved Him the most didn’t make a big deal out of it. The people who loved Him most didn’t make a “holy day” out of it and center their year on it and give gifts and sing songs about it. The reason they didn’t is found in 1 John 1:1-4. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may also have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

What exactly is the birthday of the Ancient of Days? “Before Abraham was, I Am.” His best friend, John, as well as Peter, Jude and James, and His own mother Mary, saw Jesus this way: Our eyes beheld the Eternal Life. Our hands touched the Eternal Life. And we were cut wide open, and our lives and our sins were all laid bare. His blazing eyes of fire, His shining sword, His white hair as wool—we fell as dead men before Him. This is the Eternal Life. This is God, who visited man. He appeared as a baby. God visited man: Immanuel, “God with us.” Our eyes beheld, our hands touched the Eternal Life. And we fell as dead men. He stretched out His hand and touched us and said “Arise, brother.”

There was no law against His birthday. They just went to Higher Ground. They saw who He really was. It just didn’t really matter. He is the Ancient of Days. It is only when our Jesus is so small that He can become a Christmas tree ornament, that we have any strength for pagan revelry with a holiday His own family didn’t even emphasize. So like everything else about Jesus, is there a law against this or that? No. But if my eyes See Him and my hands hold the Eternal Life, I don’t need that childish game anymore. The more I touch Him, the more my life is hidden in Christ, the less I need the little games and toys. And like the Hebrews writer said, “Believe it or not, that is the short answer.”

speech bubble representing person 2 talkingHe wants us to remember Him. He has told us how we can remember Him. As often as you do this, do this in remembrance of me. We don’t need to do something the whole world has done.

 

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