As a child, I loved to bake. I used to bake bread with my mom, cupcakes, cakes, etc. I remember for a couple Christmas’, baking a birthday cake for Jesus, and singing “Happy Birthday” to Him (candles and everything). Did you ever do that?
One year, a Facebook friend mentioned that she worked her shift on the 26th with a hangover, and then commented, “damn me for drinking on Jesus’ B-day.”
The image of Christmas being Jesus’ birthday is fun and popular, even among the churches. But I have to wonder if in the Baby in Jerusalem story, the True mark of what Christmas is all about, is actually being missed? Especially when you look at all the consumerism, depression, worries, suicides, capitalism, and various stories about the birth of Jesus, the understanding of what Christmas is all about has so much potential of becoming confused or clouded.
Believe it or not, before and in the beginning of Seminary, I attended a church that originally didn’t celebrate Christmas because neither the date nor even suggestion to celebrate Christ’s birth was actually mentioned in the Bible. They figured that since it was one of the events for which the date was not mentioned, that they shouldn’t celebrate it at all (or always celebrate it, which makes sense, but also runs the risk of pushing it aside as something minimal). They actually thought it was a sin (or evil) to celebrate Christmas!
But I’ve come to understand that Christmas is actually about something much more than them all…that regardless of what day Jesus was really born, Christmas is about celebrating the Messiah’s promised (first) coming. So on the surface, Christians are celebrating Jesus’ birth (which has developed many arguments on the date, appropriateness of celebration, etc.). But as you dig deeper, you realize that what we’re really celebrating is the long-awaited arrival of the promised Messiah.
And so we’re not celebrating a particular date, but a particular arrival, and regardless of the reason for the date, December 25th was decided upon for when to celebrate this awesome event.