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The Story Of Christmas And Its Meaning In The Bible

As Christmas Day, December 25, approaches and the profound “spirit” of Christmas takes hold, people of all faiths and none gather together to enjoy the holiday season and exchange “Merry Christmas” greetings, gifts, food, and cheer.

Every year, we hear people reminding us not to lose sight of the true purpose of Christmas. In spite of this, how many people understand what Christmas is all about? Although 94% of Americans celebrate Christmas, 15% of Americans read the Bible’s story of the birth of Christ as part of their Christmas customs, according to a poll released by the American Bible Society.

The American Bible Society’s Geoffrey Morin comments that there’s nothing wrong with appreciating some of the outstanding Christmas films that have been done throughout the decades. Christians should not make the holidays more about Scrooge and Ralphie than about Jesus Christ.

What Is The Meaning Of Christmas?

Christmas is the Christian holiday commemorating Jesus’ birth[1]. The origin of the English name Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is rather recent. The name Yule may have originated from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, both of which alluded to the winter solstice celebration. Similar names in other languages, such as Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, and Noël in French, likely refer to the nativity.

The purpose and meaning of many Christmas traditions vary. For instance, we give presents to one another because God gave us his Son, the greatest gift of all. Additionally, three wise men came to see Jesus and present him with presents. The custom of giving presents has its origins in a poem written in 1822 and titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

What Is The Story Of Christmas In The Bible?

Luke 2:4–19 is where you’ll find the Christmas story in the Bible. Since he was of the family and line of David, Joseph left Nazareth in Galilee and traveled to Judea, specifically to Bethlehem, the town of David.

He went there to sign up his child, Mary, who had promised to marry him and was now pregnant. And while they were there, she gave birth to her first child, a son. Since there was nowhere for them to stay, she wrapped him in clothes and laid him in a manger.

And there were shepherds living in the adjacent pastures, keeping watch over their flocks by night. They were horrified when an angel of the Lord came before them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them.

But the angel reassured them, “Be not afraid. I have some fantastic news that will make everyone happy. A savior has been born to you today in the city of David; he is Jesus Christ, the Lord. An infant wrapped in clothes and reclining in a manger is a symbol.

“At that moment, with the angel, a large number of the heavenly army came, praising God and proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to mankind, on whom his favor falls.”

The shepherds agreed, “Let’s journey to Bethlehem and witness this event that has happened, which the Lord has informed us about,” after the angels left them and ascended into heaven. They quickly located Mary, Joseph, and the infant in the stable.

When they informed others about what they’d seen and heard, people were astounded by the shepherds’ account of the baby Jesus. But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and gave them thought.

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Is Christmas Biblical?

The quick answer is no. The Bible does not use the word “Christmas” or a specific day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. If you’re a Christian, the Bible doesn’t require you to celebrate Christmas.

God’s Commandment In The Old Testament

Some Christians worry that God issued extremely explicit commandments in the Old Testament about how to celebrate festivals and that they should not participate in other cultures because of this. God did, in fact, order Israel to observe some festivals and forbid them to participate in other forms of worship in the Old Testament.

Because they foreshadowed Jesus Christ’s arrival, the festivals that God instructed the Israelites to observe are now superfluous. If we ignored those holidays, we would have missed the Messiah’s first appearance. To celebrate Christ’s arrival, we may now focus on His birth, death, and resurrection. Some Christians also use Colossians 2:16-17 to argue that Christians should not celebrate pagan holidays.

To be clear, this passage of Scripture in no way forbids Christians from celebrating the birth of Christ, so long as they do it in a way that brings glory to God. As a Christian, celebrating Christmas is not obligatory, but rather a great joy to celebrate the birth of our Savior and look forward with hope to the day when we will be reunited with Him for all eternity.

There’s also the fact that Christmas trees aren’t mentioned in the Bible. They quote Jeremiah 10:1–16, in which the prophet warns against making an idol out of a tree, covering it in precious metals, and genuflecting before it in worship. You can find similar language in Isaiah 44:9–18.

While Christmas trees are a source of aesthetic pleasure for many, Christians do not worship them. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our worship. Having a Christmas tree, decorating it, and giving gifts beneath it is not idolatry. Your entire life is not devoted to this. You won’t find a reasonable case against Christmas trees in this chapter. When reading the Bible, we need to be sure that we don’t pull verses or passages out of their original context.

Jesus Was Not Born on December 25th

Additionally, the fact that Christ was probably not born in December raises doubts. Therefore, why should we even bother to celebrate His birth on December 25th?

The correct response is that we should dedicate a special day to remembering and celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth. Remembering and giving thanks to God for bringing His one and only Son to Earth in the shape of a newborn is a great way to celebrate Christmas.

Christ’s birth is traditionally marked on December 25, although historians celebrate that he was likely born on a different month and day. The Roman Solstice occurred on December 25; thus, the church in the fourth century choose that date.

Between December 17 and 23, Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to the Roman god Saturn. The Solstice was also considered to occur on December 25 by the Romans. The Roman Emperor Aurelian is credited with instituting the December 25 celebration of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the “birthday of the unconquered sun”), also known as “Sol Invictus.” There are many who, based on the dates, believe that Christians “took over” December 25 from the Roman celebrations or Yule.

Biblical Reason For Celebrating Christmas

A large number of Christians, nevertheless, do celebrate Christmas. Matthew 1:18–25 and Luke 1:43–52 and 2:21–25 give scriptural support for their joy.

The angel Gabriel told Mary that she would have a son through the Holy Spirit and name him Jesus. Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, receives a similar word from the Lord. There was a global census, so they went there, and Mary gave birth in a barn.

A host of angels then begin celebrating God in the world, and the Lord sends an angel to announce to shepherds watching their flocks that the long-awaited savior has been born. The shepherds then go to see Jesus for themselves, where he is laying in a manger, and return to proclaim the good news to their neighbors.

About two years after Jesus’ birth, a story of men from the East arrived with gifts too valuable to be born unopened. You may read about this in Matthew 2:1-12.

Christians all across the world acknowledge the profound truths in this miraculous birth, and it is for this reason that they commemorate this story during the Christmas season.

Christmas is not mentioned in the Bible, yet many people involved in Christ’s birth are praising God and celebrating a party to celebrate the birth of the new king.

Even though this is not “Christmas” in the traditional sense, the Bible reveals that the birth of Christ was honored and celebrated by both angels and humans. If God came to dwell among us, then as Christians, shouldn’t we celebrate that truth?

Neither the apostles nor the early church leaders are shown in the New Testament as celebrating Christ’s birth. Instead, they are celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection via the Lord’s Supper. This is due to the fact that, historically and culturally, funerals were more commonly celebrated than births.

Despite the fact that the Bible makes no mention of Christmas, it is biblical to commemorate Christ’s first coming and birth. Shepherds, upon hearing the word of Jesus’ birth, worshiped God and spread the good news that the long-awaited Messiah had finally arrived in the world.

What Is The True Meaning Of Christmas?

Jesus was born so that he might atone for our sins. To prevent the eternal separation of humanity from God, God sacrificed his one and only Son. Jesus died as the atonement for our sins. It is because of our sins that we would all perish apart from Jesus.

As a result of Adam and Eve, the first humans God created, we all have a sinful bent. Jesus, who is both fully God and fully man, was born into the world to save humanity.

Jesus also gave us the promise of redemption and eternal life when he came. The meaning may be derived from His birth only because of His death. For 33 years, Jesus lived his life free from sin on our behalf so that He might be the spotless lamb sacrificed to pay for our transgressions.

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Indeed, many of the customs we associate with Christmas have pagan roots; nevertheless, the Christmas traditions Christians have adopted have been redeemed by commemorating the significance of Christ’s birth.

Christians should exercise discretion in their celebration of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the holiday. There are many who hold certain days in higher esteem than others, while others see no distinction between them. Each one needs to be certain in his or her own mind.

In Romans 14:5, Paul said that one person’s idea of a remarkable day can be an ordinary day for another person; the difference in perspective comes down to a matter of personal belief. The implication is that one’s choice of how to celebrate Christmas is up to them.

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Conclusion

Keep in mind that the Bible in no way mandates the observance of Christmas. If you do want to keep celebrating Christmas, remember that worshiping and celebrating the birth of our Lord can and should happen every day of your life, not only on December 25th.

The Christmas season is an excellent opportunity for prayerful contemplation on the major tenets of the Christian faith. It’s also a cause for celebration. Christmas is a time for Christians to rejoice in God’s unending love for the world by commemorating the birth of the Christ child.

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