Thursday, December 15, 2011

Born on Christmas Day

"Oh, your birthday is Christmas Day? Well, I'm sure you celebrate it on another day, right?"

Haven't you heard someone say this to a child? Maybe you've thought it. It seems unfair that on their birthday - a day that's traditionally made special just for them - they share it with packages wrapped in reindeer and tin soldiers. I mean, who wants that? Where's the icing rich cake and pals centered around you at the arcade room? Who can do a birthday sleep over on Christmas Eve? I bet some kids would go so far as to say a Christmas birthday stinks.

Yesterday, while listening to some of my favorite Christmas music, I sang along and then stopped after the line "Christ was born on Christmas Day." Wait. Rewind that. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Christmas Day was born when Christ was. Not great grammar, I agree, but truth. There was no Christmas when Jesus was born. No packages. No Eve service. No established day called Christmas Day. So, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Jesus wasn't born on Christmas Day.

We all know the story of the barn birth. I doubt there was snow or mistletoe or anything close to fruitcake. Some of our traditions come from what surrounded that night. Gifts from the magi, joyous music from the angels, lights to symbolize The Light of the World. But on that night, very few knew that their awaited Savior was tucked away in his mother's arms sleeping soundly. It was just another night for the majority of the world.

December 25th wasn't set as the official day to celebrate Christ's birth until sometime after 400A.D. That means for 433 years after that amazing night, there was no Christmas. Oh, believers remembered him. They may not have mailed cards or been in bathrobe plays at church, but they did more. They spread the gospel, grew the church and lived their lives awaiting his return. They didn't need a calendar to tell them when to celebrate.

Maybe I don't either...

1 comment:

  1. What? Christmas isn't Jesus birthday? You've been fooling me for years!