Notice I didn’t say Christmas?
Although, I am not afraid of the word. I know where it came from; it means “Christ’s Mass.” This is a Roman Catholic tradition started to coincide with a pagan celebration. I know this. However, I also know that I am a Primitive Baptist. Primitive Baptists are not Protestants because we have never been part of the catholic church. Therefore, I am not reforming out of their false start. I am not celebrating their compromise with paganism.
I also so know, through the study of the Scriptures, that Jesus was not born on December 25. Shepherds don’t sit out in the fields with their sheep in the middle of Winter (Luke 2:7-8). They would both freeze to death. And why would the Romans, wanting to collect taxes, put the time of tax collection when it was nearly impossible to travel because of weather conditions (Luke 2:1-4)?
So, when was Jesus born? Glad you asked.
Here are the facts:
- Elizabeth had been pregnant for about sixth months when the Holy Ghost came to Mary and Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36).
- John’s father was a man named Zacharias.
- Zacharias was a priest serving in Jerusalem during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Simple, historical calculations make that time about the second or third week of June.
- During the time Zacharias was serving in the temple (mid June), he learns that Elizabeth, his wife, will have a baby (Luke 1:8-13).
- Zacharias travels back home. Soon after he is home, Elizabeth becomes pregnant (Luke 1:23-24).
- Now its just math.
- If John was conceived in late June, he would have been born toward the end of March.
- Looking back at fact #1, we know that Jesus is about sixth months younger than John. So…
- Sixth months after March is September.
- Late September or early October was the time of Jesus’ birth. This is the time of the year when you would find shepherds abiding in the fields keeping watch over their sheep. This is the time of year when it would make sense to collect taxes, since the harvest was coming in and people have money!
Now I know what you are thinking. The title of my article is why I celebrate the birth of Christ, but I just proved that it didn’t happen on December 25. I know, you’re totally confused. Let me help.
Was the birth of Christ celebrated in the Bible? Yes.
The angels did. The angels filled the sky and celebrated the fact that Jesus (Peace Himself) had come to earth (Luke 2).
The shepherds did. The shepherds, after hearing that amazing choir concert, quickly came to where Jesus was, and after they saw Him, told everyone they could find what was told them about the child.
The wise men did. They had heard about the birth of the true King, and travelled a great distance. Jesus was probably two years old by the time they got there, but they still gave Him gifts.
So the question is not whether we should celebrate the birth of Christ or not. It was marked with celebration in the Bible, and so it is fitting that we do the same – in September, October, November, and every other month of the year, even December. I have sung carols in June and enjoyed it!
It boils down to this for me: The United States has chosen to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25. In doing so, it is a Federal Holiday. That means we don’t have to go to work. That means we can take time off to be with our family or travel to be with our extended family. Our government has chosen to give us a few days off this time of year. Are you going to go to work even though you don’t have to? I celebrate the birth Christ, the life of Christ, the death of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ every day of the year. Why should I stop on December 25 just because it is tainted by a pagan holiday?
Oh, and speaking of holidays. It is this time of year when so many Christians become, well unchristian and attack me and others for celebrating the birth of Christ. Let’s see what the Bible says:
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. – Romans 14:5-6
Seems to me we are not supposed to judge, much less attack, those who celebrate a particular holiday. Those that have read this will then say, “Yes, but the Apostle Paul calls these people weak in the faith.” Yes he does. So, call me weak, but don’t tell me I’m not a Christian. Better yet, look at everything I have said here. I celebrated it everyday not just December 25! 🙂