Yes, the final days before most of the Christian World stops (?) to commemorate the birth that happened more than two thousand years ago of the Christ Child in a little town in Israel called Bethlehem. Tradition, Scriptures and the archives remaining of the world then have told us that it happened there because the betrothed future husband of his mother, Mary, was of the lineage of the great king, David, who was from that town. After the announcement, the Roman Caesar Augustus ordered a census of the Roman empire to be taken and every male was required to travel to the hometown of his ancestry to be enrolled. Joseph was a direct descendent of the great King of Israel, David. So it was necessary that he go with his betrothed wife Mary to be counted.
Mary, although a virgin, was expecting a Child, she was told by the angel Gabriel that the Holy Spirit “would come upon her” and that the Child was to be given the name Jesus (Luke 1:35-37). Thus is the actual claim that the Child would be the Son of God. After they arrived in Bethlehem, it came time for Mary to deliver, but the town was full of others there for the same reason, so it became necessary for the couple to take shelter in a stable. Biblical and historical scholars have said that houses in those days had the animals in a separate room in the house and some clergy have stated that the place might (and probably was) actually have been in just such a place in a house of David’s kin.
If the weather was cold at night, the animals would have made the room relatively warm. The principle of Jesus coming to Earth in that manner, his Spirit being in a human body we are told, is so that God could thus relate to and save the human race, which had become thoroughly infused with sin.
In any event, that miraculous event has now been celebrated, or observed, for nearly 2000 years, since the current “Gregorian” calendar was assembled by an early Roman Catholic Pope, Gregory. Some historians have claimed from studies of the Roman archives that the actual date of the birth of Jesus was in summer, perhaps early August and as much as seven years earlier. Those researchers have not been widely published, nor is it common knowledge whether there is more than one source arriving at the same conclusion.
Thus the “reason for the season” as currently observed throughout the Christian World – and by some of the Jewish faith, referred to as “messianic” Jews who still practice the ancient rules contained in the Pentateuch (the first five Mosaic) books of the Bible. It was comforting to me the last time I saw a Jewish friend and fraternity brother alive, he proudly proclaimed to me that he was convinced that Jesus is the Son of God. By doing so, it is my firm belief that we shall meet again when my turn comes, I don’t know when that will be.
Despite the real reason for the observance, it is somewhat distressing to me to see just how far into commercialization our human nature has taken us. This is particularly true given the heavy push, by certain opposition groups, to remove any reference to the words God, Jesus, Christ, or even God bless you from being displayed. Those of that mind set demand that their “freedom of speech” be protected so that they can demean our faith while at the same time demanding that we be censored and not allowed to speak our feelings, beliefs and principles. One of the worst, in my opinion, is the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), which aggressively files law suits against even the display of Biblical passages, such as the Ten Commandments, on any public property. All this while receiving funds from the federal government.
Thankfully, there are still corporations, mostly privately owned, who continue to close on Sunday, the day most Christians choose for the Sabbath. It would not bother me for businesses owned by those of the Jewish or Seventh Day Adventist faiths to be closed on Saturday, since that is their Sabbath. Or, owners could have employees of the other faith to work on the owner’s Sabbath, which would be my practice as a shop owner.
In any case, the observance of Christmas is celebrated, even by non-Christians, and is an important part of each and every year. I never have a problem remembering which day of the week it occurs since the same day of the week is also my birthday as well as those of my No. 2 son and daughter and New Year’s Day.
So, I wish each and every one who reads this, and the rest of the world, a most Merry Christmas in this the “Year Of Our Lord 2017.” May the God I worship, and his Son, Jesus, be with you from now through the coming year, 2018, and keep you safe, healthy, and happily comforted into the future.