I know, I know, “officially,” it’s not Christmas just yet. Traditionally, according to church calendars, Christmastime begins on Christmas day and ends on January 5th, thus twelve days of Christmas. January 6th is the celebrated day of the Wisemen or the feast of Epiphany. (As a very young boy, my father was a local church pastor in Puerto Rico, and January 6th, also known as “Three Kings Day,” was celebrated, as it still is in many cultures.) The church calendar, which has been observed for centuries, is essential. It is crucial that, as believers, we understand the deep history of the celebration.
The birth of Christ is the most significant event in human history. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago, His birth marked the beginning of a new story for humanity.
You most likely know Christ’s birth is told in the Gospel of Luke and Matthew. You also may know that the story doesn’t begin there; it begins in Genesis 3:15. And Galatians (4:4-5). Then we read about Him in Isaiah 7:14. Not to mention in Samuel, Micah, and Hosea.
Those verses and many others point to the truth of hope, love, and redemption found in Christ.
The birth of Christ is significant for many reasons. It is a symbol of hope and rescue. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins and to show us the way to eternal life. His birth began a new way in which people could be forgiven for their sins and have a personal relationship with God. That’s something worth celebrating! That’s something worth sharing!
For more than 2,000 years, the story of Christ’s birth has inspired countless works of art, music, and literature. Some of my favorites include the painting “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Rembrandt, the “Messiah” oratorio by Handel, the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and my mom’s favorite, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. Just twenty-four years ago, singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson created Behold The Lamb Of God, “A true tall tale of the coming of Christ .”(My family and I finally saw this live at the Ryman in Nashville on December 4th this year, and it was a beautiful and profoundly moving worship experience.) Christ’s birth has captivated people for centuries and continues to do so at this very moment.
Even now, as has been for thousands of years, there are wars, the terrible destruction of humans against humans, greed, the killing of innocent children, both the born and unborn, and pain and suffering…yet there is hope because there is Christmas. Do you know about the Christmas Pause?
The Christmas Pause of 1914, also known as the Christmas Truce, was a remarkable event during World War I. On Christmas Eve, soldiers from both sides of the trenches in Belgium spontaneously ceased fighting and came together to celebrate the holiday. The truce began with the singing of Christmas carols by German soldiers, and soon, both sides started cautiously emerging from their trenches.
The soldiers exchanged gifts, shared food, and played games together. They even buried their dead and held joint Christmas services. It was a remarkable display of humanity amidst one of the most inhumane conflicts in history. They celebrated. They shared.
The Christmas Pause lasted several days, with no shots fired between the opposing sides. However, the truce was not officially recognized by military commanders on either side, and the fighting eventually resumed.
Nevertheless, the Christmas Pause of 1914 is a powerful reminder of the human capacity for empathy and charity, even amid war. It is a testament to the enduring spirit of Christmas and the hope that it can inspire, even in the darkest circumstances.
The birth of Christ is a reminder that no matter how dark things may seem, there is always hope. It is a story of love, compassion, and the power of faith to overcome even the greatest obstacles.
The birth of Christ is the significant event that has shaped human history. That’s worth celebrating. That’s worth sharing! So, with a nod of respect to the Christian calendar, Christmas is worthy because He is worthy of celebrating! He is worthy of sharing!
Even old Ebenezer Scrooge learned to keep Christmas well. So, with words and actions, let’s celebrate! Let’s share! Let us each proclaim Merry Christmas!
Sharing His Wonder,
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