Meanderings of a Minister


Christmas Is So Weird!
December 9, 2016, 3:49 pm
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Confused

Yes, you read the title correctly.  Christmas is strange.  Now, you might be saying or thinking that a good Christian should never say things like that, but it is true.  Christmas is strange.  How?  You ask.

First, think about it.  At Christmas, we celebrate that God became a man.  Actually, more accurately, the infinite God Who is bigger and beyond our universe became a fertilized egg, went through cell division and gestation, and went through the birth process to join our world as a helpless infant.  How weird is that?  We would not have planned it that way.  We would have had Him ride in on a magnificent horse into a highly-decorated palace to sit upon a massive golden throne.  Christmas is weird.

Christmas is also weird because a virgin girl, probably an early teen, was chosen to have this baby while being engaged to someone else.  In our day, this does not seem so strange because of all of the single parent families, broken homes, and children who don’t actually live with both parents, but in their day, this was weird.  The fact that the fiancé went ahead and married the girl after she gave birth, they had many other children, and then he faded from the scene makes this stranger yet.

Something else that makes Christmas weird is the setting.  In a shelter for animals?  Born with no fanfare?  Wrapped in cloths and laid in a what?  A manger?  A food trough?  Now, that is weird.  Then, who should come to visit?  Shepherds?  Really?  They come, bow down, and then go back to work?  Christmas is so weird.

And then there is the whole angel thing that sent the shepherds to Mary and the baby in the first place.  They show up, out of nowhere, they tell the story and then…they leave?  They show up, scare the shepherds nearly to death, and then just leave?  Where is the lined path, the party,
the …?  Christmas is so weird.

That was then, but Christmas has gotten even more strange in our day.  How?  Just think about a few things.  First, we celebrate His birth at a time when He most likely was not born.  While we cannot be dogmatic about a particular date, there are some potential reasons why we celebrate Christmas on December 25th.  This was information listed on whychristmas.com and I found it helpful, even though it is weird.

“No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on the 25th December? The early Christians certainly had many arguments as to when it should be celebrated! Also, the birth of Jesus probably didn’t happen in the year 1 but slightly earlier, somewhere between 2 BCE/BC and 7 BCE/BC (there isn’t a 0 – the years go from 1 BC/BCE to 1!).

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.

There are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special baby, Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th – and it’s still celebrated today on the 25th March. Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died on when he was an adult.”

Another way that Christmas is weird is that it is supposed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, but yet, we give each other presents.  Come on!  None of us would put with that.  Can you imagine having a birthday party for your son or daughter and all of the guests came with presents for each other and then demanded that you meet their needs and help them with the credit card bills they generated buying those presents?  Christmas is so weird!

At Christmas, we celebrate something that should be celebrated every day.  The fact that we have a day to celebrate it is a blessing.  But maybe we should look at HOW we celebrate it.  We should give ourselves to Jesus as a present every day.  After all, He is Lord.  That would not be so weird.

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