Summary: A brief devotional sharing how Jesus has changed December 25th.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Theme: Christmas Eve/Day Devotion
Proposition: Jesus Christ has transformed the 25th Day of December.
Grace and peace from our Heaven Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
What a wonderful time of the year! This evening let's take a moment or two and share some quick devotional thoughts concerning our Jesus' Birth. Let spend some time celebrating that we are on the eve of the greatest event in all of history, the birth of God's only Son, Jesus Christ. Tonight is one of the holiest times of the year.
Yes, we could spend a great deal of time discussing and theorizing about December 25th being the actual day of Christ's birth. More and more we in the church understand that December 25th was not the actual birth date of our Savior Jesus. Our messianic Jewish friends more accurately point us to a date around October 3rd or 4th. They do that based on ancient documents and a more accurate reading of prophetic scripture. Theologically it makes more sense for the birth of the Messiah to have occurred during the season of either Succoth and Rash Hashanah than it does around the pagan date of December 25th. And upon reading some of the ancient writings of the prophets and rabbis I would have to agree that a date somewhere between September 20th and October 4th in our calendar would be a better time frame.
The problem is that the Early Church just did not take the time to record the exact date. Today we celebrate December 25th because after a century or two of debate (2nd to 4th century) the Early Church for the most part settled on this date to celebrate Jesus' birth. The Eastern Orthodox Church still opts for January 6th. The reality is that those early Christians wanted to celebrate the birth of Jesus and so after much debate and discussion the majority of the church today still looks at December 25th as the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.1
The date is not as important as the celebration and the worship we have for Jesus. God could have just one day written the date across the sky but so far that has not be a part of His divine plan. And so, we in the western church will continue to celebrate December 25th, while others will celebrate January 6th and still others will celebrate a day between September 20th and October 4th.
With all that in mind however, I would like for us to see for a few moments what the celebration of Jesus' birth has done to December 25th. There is a great deal of discussion about what the world has done to Christmas. We fuss and complain about how Christmas has become this commercialized event that no longer focuses on Jesus but on commerce and festivities. We fuss and complain a great deal but I am afraid this evening we actually forget how the celebration of Jesus' birth has transformed December 25th. In fact, it has transformed a whole season of days.
1. Jesus has made December 25th the day we celebrate the Incarnation - GOD WITH US
The celebration of Jesus' birth on December 25th has made this to be the day that all over the world we celebrate the miracle and mystery of God the Son coming to earth as a human. December 25th is now one of the greatest days of the year to share the Christians message of God's love. It is this day that we are able to tell the world the story of salvation. We are able to tell the world that God so loved us that He sent His only begotten son and that whoever believes in Him can experience everlasting life.