Summary: Points out that this time of year is a celebration of the birth of Christ. And that we should treat December 25th as we would any other persons’ birthday. It causes us to reflect on the heart of Herod and ours during this time of year.
Christ is Christmas
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
As we prepare for Christmas we need to ask ourselves: what is Christmas? Is it Santa Claus and reindeer? Is it decorated trees with trips to visit family and friends? Is it gifts, gathering, and giving? Christmas is a time when we should recognize, remember, and reflect on the coming of Christ into the world, and we need to remember that it is His birthday party. As we look at this time of year we can see that Christ is slowly being removed from the day that is supposed to celebrate His birth. I remember back when the term Xmas was used for Christmas and how when I was living in the world it did not bother me. But now I take notice of this because it was and is a subtle way of removing Christ from Christmas. Now I have seen an argument that Christians are taking the term Xmas way out of portions because we do not understand what Xmas means. The term Xmas comes from the combination of the Greek symbol for the first letter in Christ, which is an X and the Latin term for a festival or gathering of people, which is mass. Well, the argument does not hold water because the majority of us do not know Latin or Greek and it would never have dawned upon us to look at it in this way. Secondly, if the idea was to use the Greek then Xmas should have been written as Masse Christos, which again the majority of us would not have understood. Since Xmas didn’t gather as much momentum as the anti-Christians had hoped, in comes a new term that is guaranteed not to offend anyone: “Happy Holidays.” Now what argument can you give for the complete and total disappearance of Christ from the day that celebrates His birth now?!
The world today is no different from the time of King Herod, some two thousand thirty odd years ago. Then as it is now there are two types of people when it comes to Christmas: those who are exceedingly glad that Christ was born, and those who become fearful of His coming into the world. Let us first look at the latter of these two groups:
• Herod and all of Jerusalem
o Verse 3 of our Scripture tells us that this group was troubled by the coming of the Christ. Why were they troubled to know their Messiah was finally coming? There are two answers to this question:
First, a new king means a change in power. Herod and the religious leaders were living the good life and a new king would change all of that. They would no longer be in control and be in power.
Second, a new king means a change in lifestyle. It means that they have to get right before the Lord. Because the new king will be a swift witness against all who live unrighteous as spoken of in Malachi 3:1-6