Christians have celebrated the incarnation and nativity of the Lord Jesus on December 25 since at least the early part of the third century--just a few generations removed from the days of the Apostles. By 336, when the Philocalian Calendar--one of the earliest documents of the Patriarchal church--was first utilized, Christmas Day was already a venerable and tenured tradition. Though there is no historical evidence that Christ was actually born on that day--indeed, whatever evidence there is points to altogether different occasions--the conversion of the old Pagan tribes of Europe left a gaping void where the ancient winter cult festivals were once held. It was both culturally convenient and evangelically expedient to exchange the one for the other. And so joy replaced desperation. Celebration replaced propitiation. Christmas feasts replaced new moon sacrifices. Christ replaced Baal, Molech, Apollo, and Thor. Glad tidings of great joy, indeed.Like the wise men who followed that wandering star to worship the new-born King...
~quoted from Christmas Spirit by George Grant & Gregory Wilber
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. ~Matthew 2:10-11And like the shepherds who "came with haste" to see the Babe...
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. ~Luke 2:15-20With joy and thanks, like those shepherds and wise men of old, I, too, will rejoice in celebration of His Advent!
Wishing you all a most merry Christmas celebration!
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