Monday, December 21, 2015

A Jewish Man’s Look At Christmas (25 Years Later)

I first wrote this article for the Calvary Times Magazine’s 1990 Christmas addition.  As the years have passed, political correctness has caused Christmas to be less about Jesus and more about avoiding offending murderous Muslims.  The Constitutional Republic appears to be gone.  Self-proclaimed masterminds run the country.  Thanks to sin-induced, political stupidity, I live in the state that is # 1 in under-age and teen use of marijuana.  Even the Peanuts cartoon character, Linus, is banned from explaining the truth about Christmas and what it means.  The next generation is missing the incredible, mysterious miracle the scriptures proclaim – God with us.  Our granddaughter refers to the characters in her front yard’s nativity scene as, “The neighbors.”  At least they’re quiet.

I have followed Jesus for over 45 years.  However, I am Jewish, raised Orthodox, and I live in a secular culture.  For most Jews, Christmas does not make much sense.  Even as a believer, it still lacks clarity.  I have listened to all the reasons why we celebrate Christmas.  I have not heard one that satisfies my personal need to understand why so many millions make such a big fuss over it?  As Charles M. Schulz wrote for his Peanuts character in his classic movie, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown cries, “Does anybody really know what Christmas is all about?”

Is it to honor Christ’s birthday?  That’s what many people claim.  If it were, then why are so many people pushing and shoving in stores looking for that meaningless gift that’s neither wanted or needed to give some not too distant relative.  Today, I join the madness by using other tools for purchasing, and keeping delivery services busy.  If we were honoring Christ’s birthday, wouldn’t we go about this stress inducing activity with more inner peace and joy?

My decade-long observations show me that the opposite is true.  Statistics alone indicate that there are more people suffering from depression, more suicides and homicides executed, more adulterous affairs, more crimes of passion committed, more traffic accidents related to drunk or drug abuse driving occurring, than at any other single time of the year.  Is this Christmas?

Why did the church pick a day that pagan’s have always used to celebrate the winter solstice?  It’s a mathematical impossibility for Jesus to have been born during this time of year anyway.  We know from scripture Jesus was thirty-three and a half years of age when He died on the cross, meaning he was born in the September/October time frame.  Historically, a census is taken at the beginning of a new year.  All of Palestine at the time of Jesus’ birth recognized the New Year at Rosh Hashanah, which always falls in our September/October time of year.  It was the census that forced Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem.  The evidence from scripture and history circumstantially points to an early fall birth for our Lord.  If we are honoring His birthday, why don’t we honor it a bit closer to when it more probably occurred?

And what does the Lord Himself think about all this wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, trees and lights?  Does He have an opinion on all this?  I think we can see one from scripture.  In Matthew’s Gospel, in Chapter 15, verses 1 through 15, and in Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verses 1 through 13, the Lord’s attitude towards these traditions we annually practice is made clear by His own words.  I see a parallel between what Jesus told the people then and what I’m sure He’d repeat today.  We have invalidated the Word of God by our traditions.

Obviously, nothing I think, say, or write is going to change any of these things.  The miracle of Christmas is God chose to leave the glory of His Kingdom, be born as a man, live a sinless life, pay the full penalty for mankind’s sins, and rise again to forever make intercession for all who place their faith and trust in Him.  All we know is natural light.  We have no clue what the light of God’s glory is like and what Jesus gave up to save us.

Until He returns, people will continue to flock to shopping centers and purchase gifts to exchange for whatever purpose they hold dear.  It still looks real strange to us who have learned about God from a different point of view.  Without truth, the way Christmas is celebrated does little to prove to my Jewish brethren that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel.  To all that I might add, Happy Birthday Lord Jesus, whenever it is.

Thanks for reading.  If our LORD permits, let the restoration of our Constitutional Republic begin for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

For further entertaining and educational reading regarding a past Constitutional crisis, I linked my Christian, Historical Fiction, Civil War series here: Destination Hope. 


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