Is Your Heart In It?
The Bible doesn’t actually give an exact date as to when Jesus was born, so why do people believe He was born December 25th? I know a little about the Pagans, who I think started the celebrations, but not a whole lot.
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
The Bible does not tell us many things. This is not accidental nor an oversight on God’s part. An important thing to remember about scripture is that it is not a complete account of all of history. Though some may try and argue this, common sense tells us there is a lot God has left unsaid. I’ll speak more to that later.
The Bible does not say specifically when Jesus was born and I see good reason for this. The focus of the New Testament is the heart of man being brought back to God. When dealing with religious questions, Jesus always got to the heart of the issue, which was the condition of the heart. The purpose of the law was to point men back to God but instead man used it for bondage. I suspect that if we knew the exact date of Jesus birth, we would have yet another sect of Christianity that would be known as Birthatarians!
It still amazes me that though we have been given such magnificent freedom, humans still feel the need to make self-imposed idols, the whole time being distracted from what God really wants. We do things like get crosses and put them on everything or make certain days so religious that we often lose sight of the relationship we have with our God. Not that these things in of themselves are wrong, but people focus more on what doesn’t matter than what really matters. For example, people will be more concerned with having a cross hanging on their mirror than using faith and authority as they go. They will show up to church on Christmas and Easter and skip the rest of the year.
While I was growing up, in a religious context, we were taught not to do something very specific on a certain day of the year. When I got older I inquired with a spiritual mentor why as Christians we don’t do that and they had no idea what I was talking about. It was a tradition that started somewhere in my family’s past, but no one knew why and there was no scriptural basis for it.
So why Christmas on December 25th? Many of our holidays have their roots in events of the past and often times are a mashup of many traditions. Christmas and its date is a holiday that some Christians instituted during a celebration that pagans had. The reason they did this was that in their attempt to convert them to a new faith, they gave them something that looked similar to their old one. So is that wrong? I would say according to scripture, it wholly depends on the heart behind it.
Colossians 2:16-17 says, “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what you celebrate as long as it is with the right heart, you’re focused on God, and it doesn’t hurt a weaken a brother’s or sister’s conscience. Romans 14:13 tells us, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
Some people still get so focused on certain days and events that satan will use them as distractions from truth. Jesus dealt with this in Mark 7:9. He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. So often people major on the minors and end up in a ditch. It’s not God’s will, but it is something humans have done throughout history.
As for me and my family, we celebrate Christmas. We don’t claim it’s the specific day Jesus was born but we celebrate the fact that He was. We also do not let that be the only day we celebrate Him. Whether we have Christmas or not, we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus every day because that’s what good Christians should do. To recognize a day or not is worthless unless it’s done for the right reason. He is the reason for every season.