In teaching about the Jewish feasts, John Hagee once suggested that Jesus was born in late September or early October, around the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles, rather than on Dec. 25, the date on which we traditionally celebrate His birth. Hagee developed a credible argument for his claim based on the timing of the birth of John the Baptist, who arrived on the scene shortly before Jesus.
The word we use to refer to Jesus’ birth date came from the term “Christ’s Mass,” eventually shortened to “Christmas,” which was probably the name of a celebration initiated by the early church to compete with the pagan holiday that signaled the beginning of winter. Whether we celebrate it on Dec. 25 or a more historically accurate date, Christmas has become a time when the world stops to acknowledge the miracle of God’s becoming man in the form of a baby born to a virgin in Bethlehem.
For many people, it is the happiest time of the year, not only because of the spiritual significance but also because of the special traditions, memories, love and good will that attend it.
So why is it that, in our culture today, there is an attempt to snuff out every aspect of the holiday that reflects its spiritual origins? It’s OK to decorate our homes with glittering evergreen trees and send out greeting cards with cheerful little snowmen on them, but we can’t put Navity sets in public view or even wish someone “Merry Christmas!” without inciting public criticism. read more