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December 2009

Moscow December 2009

We all know that Jesus was not born on December 25, or January 7 if you happen to live in Russia.  The following facts are indisputable:

  1. Jesus was born when the shepherds were out in the fields with their sheep, an unheard of thing in the midst of winter.  (Luke 2:8)  December 25 is a time of bitter cold in the hills around Jerusalem, and no self-respecting shepherd is camped out during that time.
  2. Jesus was born at the time of Caesar Augustus’ census.  No Roman emperor would risk the chaos that would ensue should he command his citizens to travel long distances, sometimes on snow choked roads.  (Luke 2:1-4)  While heavy falls of snow are unusual in Jerusalem and its environs, this certainly is not the case in the Northern European areas of the old Roman Empire.  Yet Jesus was born when people were traveling to the places of their birth. It is known by all scholars that December 25 was the sacred time of the Winter Solstice.  As the pagans watched their solar god sink low in the sky on December 24, they cried out “Our great god is dying!”  December 25, however, marked the time when it appeared that the Sun God was resurrected from death. (See Ezekiel 8:14-16)
History records the story of spiritual decline and apostacy as pagan practices invaded the church.  When the priests of Rome went forth to convert the world to “Christianity,” they encountered multitudes of sun worshippers.  To ease their conversion, they conveniently accepted their pagan ways to swell the coffers of the church, and the multitudes of illiterates who thronged the temples.  Thus December 25 entered the church calendar as the birthday of the Sun of Righteousness.

Shall we keep Christmas?

Certainly not as a holy day, because there is only one holy day recognized in the sacred Scriptures.  That day is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.  Christmas day is a holiday, the same as any other holiday and we should remember Christ’s birth just as we should remember his holy birth every day.  Remember, dear friend, it is a holiday not a holy day.

The great truth that a weary old world remembers once a year, is that God 2000 years ago came to live among us.  And because He came, lived, and died for us, life will never be the same again.  Jesus is “God with us,” our Savior, Lord and King. Let us do more than pay him lip service this Christmas.  Let us bow down and worship Him.

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