Message for December 23, 2018 from Pastor Jerry

A brief History of Christmas

“And she will bring forth a son and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21(NKJV)

            As widespread as Christmas celebration has become, very little of its history is known by most people.  It must be understood that its celebration is not a clear cut, never changing activity since the year Jesus was born.  The exact day and year of His birth has never been determined. At the time of His birth the calendars were different and more than one existed at a time

            Keep in mind that there is no mention of a recognized holy day to celebrate Jesus’ birth in the Bible.  The only event Scripture tell us to remember is observed is Communion in regard to His death for us. Christmas is a celebration instituted by man, not God.  It has been recognized by the church since its first recorded celebration by the church in Rome in 336. The term Christmas became common from church masses called Christ-mass noted from 1038 A.D. and 1131 A. D.  About this time in the 10th century Nativity scenes began to be displayed.  It is commonly believed to be from the influence of Saint Frances of Assisi. The Council of Tours in 567 included it in church celebration as a feast named “The Twelve Days of Christmas” running from Christmas to Epiphany.

            One of the most interesting things about Christmas is that the first opposition to its public celebration was from the church after the reformation in the sixteenth century.  During the Puritan rule of England Christmas was outlawed from 1647 to 1660 due to the drunkenness and misbehavior associated with it. Christmas as we see it today arose in the 1800s from the influence of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and Clemet Moore’s “The Night before Christmas.”  It became a National holiday on June 28, 1880 in the U.S. Although it has been celebrated by many nation’s for hundreds of years, it wasn’t always a national holiday. It was not a holiday in Scotland until 1958 due to its nature of celebration. From man’s view of the holiday, can it really be said, “Jesus is the reason for the season?”

            Today the world doesn’t want to get rid of the holiday; it just wants CHRISTMAS removed.  As a believer it isn’t important whether or not you celebrate Christmas, the holiday, but it is important that you celebrate Christ, your Savior, not just on one day but every day of the year.  Jesus, the CHRIST, is more important than Christmas, the holiday.  

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