THE IMPORTANCE OF A BIRTHDAY, Dan Mayfield
Why would anyone, especially Christians, pause to remember the birthday of Jesus Christ! Is it inconceivable to believe that Mary and Jesus’ siblings would remember that birth marked with a star and shepherd boys, and later by a special delegation of kings bringing gold and other valuables? Inconceivable? What an amazing announcement by an angelic host on that day a child was born in Bethlehem! Because it was known when he was 12, is it inconceivable to believe that the year and date of His birth would be remembered? And because Matthew and Luke paid special attention to the genealogy of Christ that establishes His connection to David and Abraham, would anyone be wrong
to conclude that the birthdate of Christ would be recorded? How is it that we say the year of His birth is 2016, yet many act like remembering the birth is wrong? The Old Testament speaks of the miraculous virgin birth, so why would anyone ignore the place, or the date, or the occasion marked by a Roman census and other significant facts related to the exact date of Christ? Is it ludicrous to think people would know the birth date of Christ even if it was known that he began his public ministry at about the age of 30? Thirty years from when? It is not crazy at all to think the birth date of Christ must have been completely significant to the early church.
Though it’s certain that December 25 wasn’t the date (we can blame Rome and Catholics for changing it to the date of the Sun god), the birth of Christ was being remembered by the church. When it was made December 25, it was changed from some other date which likely was in the fall coinciding with the Jewish feast of tabernacles. It’s not so wrong for Christians to remember the day which God took flesh and tabernacled among us. Clearly the marking of a special day for such a remembrance of Jesus’ birth is not pagan. Because we don’t know the exact date doesn’t justify ignoring it. Paul says that we should not judge the person who “regards one day above another”, therefore it is not acceptable to judge the man who once a year remembers that special birth of Jesus Christ.
“One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” Romans 14:5
“Christmas, it’s not in the Bible!”, some declare. I disagree. The birth of Christ is in the Bible. Remembering that special birth is in the Bible. Family and beloved friends remembered when Jesus was born. There’s nothing odd or pagan about singing “Joy to the Word” or “O Little Town of Bethlehem” for blessed promise of God’s son coming into the world. On December 25, as well as other days of the year, I can and do thank the Father for baby Jesus and that wonderful visitation among men.
Does the church have the right to bring this remembrance into the church as a holy day? No. It is privately done. But privately observed, as silly and unfounded as a few suggest it to be, it is holy to them. Some people find it wise and holy to remember such an important day.
Said in love, Dan