Christmas Thoughts

Dateline: 25 December 2014

"Simeon's Prophecy to Mary"
by Rembrandt (1628).
This is a seldom mentioned but significant part of the true
Christmas story and can be found in Luke 2:25-35.
Click Here for information about the photo.

Jesus was probably born in the spring, not on December 25, and the Bible does not say Christians should celebrate the birth of Christ, and many Christmas traditions have their roots in paganism, and Christmas has been commercialized in order for merchants to make money, and many Christians throughout history (the Pilgrims and early Puritans among them) never celebrated Christmas at all, and I myself, knowing these things, have been ambivalent about Christmas in times past. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m good with Christmas now. Here’s why....

First, Jesus Christ, God incarnate, was born, and his birth changed the world. Any holiday acknowledging this event as something very special is, in my opinion, a very good thing.

Second, Christmas has become such a thorn in the side of secularism (the religion of popular culture and the state) that I can’t help but enjoy seeing how institutions and some people try to celebrate the holiday without celebrating the holiday, if you know what I mean. Christmas is an annual reminder, in the midst of post-Christian America, of our Christian heritage, and the advent of Jesus Christ.

Third, Christmas is a unique time of the year when families and friends typically gather together in an atmosphere of joy and celebration. It’s an opportunity to express kindness, to remember the past, and, hopefully, to acknowledge the reason for the season. That’s all good.

I respect fellow Christians who, for whatever reason, choose not to celebrate Christmas.   I think this old Christian refrain applies...

In the essentials, unity.
In the non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity (love).

So, do as you please, but I’m going to keep this tradition and enjoy the holiday. And you can be sure I won’t be wishing those I know a “joyous winter solstice.”

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Herrick Kimball


P.S. For a good perspective on the origins of Christmas, Click This Link from Answers in Genesis. There you will find this final comment...

What should be of greater concern to Christians is the extent to which we have adopted some of the pagan practices during Christmas-time. Some have gone overboard on this, and we should be cautious of making Christmas about mythical images like Santa, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and so on, rather than the birth of Christ and why He came to save those who were lost.
What is important is that we understand the implication of the omnipotent Son of God leaving His heavenly throne to empty Himself! Why would the Creator of the universe choose to do this, knowing He would be raised by sinful parents in a sinful world to be rejected and to die a horrible death? 
Unbelievable as it is, it was to pay the penalty for the sin of humankind (Romans 3:23, 6:23) so that we, undeserving, hateful sinners—doomed to die, could instead live with Him in paradise for eternity. Now, that is worth celebrating! Find out more about this wonderful gift.

"The Shepherd's Adoration"
Bartome Murillo (17th century)


Anonymous said...

In the essentials, unity.
In the non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity (love).

I have read this before and each time I see it I think; This is it, this describes the essence of what i believe in. Three sentences.

To all, may your holidays be merry & bright!


Granny Miller said...

Merry Christmas Herrick!

As a student of astrology, I suspect that Jesus Christ was born in early August 3 BC. The morning of August 12,3BC, Jupiter was in conjunction with the planet Venus in the sign of Leo.
Venus had just been conjoined with the King star Regulus (the star of the Jewish Messiah.

Between 3-2 BC, there were more than a few unusual planetary conjunctions that would have been obvious in Palestine. These celestial occurrences would have been of great importance to both Hebrew & Mesopotamian astrologers.
Those conjunctions may very well have been the Star of Bethlehem.

wildbillb said...

i think it is awesome that we Christians have taken over a pagan holiday, to the point that many forget or never knew it used to be pagan. i think we should do the same with other holidays. isn't it great our children are excited for Halloween, and it is a time of fun and candy rather than a scary thing it used to be. Now if only we can keep Christmas from the capitalists... and keep Christ in the celebration. i hate hearing the updates about how disappointed retail sales are this season... ;-)

and FYI, Christ's actual birth was on April 6th in the year he was born.

Anonymous said...

And a very merry Christmas to you Mr. Kimble!
May God bless you!


"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Ellen said...

Merry Christmas!

Pa Mac said...

My sentiments, exactly, Herrick!
Merry Christmas!
Pa Mac

Patrick Kyle said...

Mr. Kimball, Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you and your family. Thanks for the work you do here.

I wanted to pass along a couple links on how recent scholarship is bolstering some of the traditional dates and details of Christmas and the Christmas story.

They do a great deal to lay to rest the idea that Christmas is a varnished over pagan holiday.


Nick L said...

Merry Christmas Herrick and to your Family!

Great post and great comments all. I could go on and on about Christmas but I'll follow your lead and wish us all a Merry Christmas and His Peace to all. To quote Tiny Tim " God Bless us everyone"

Nick L

Elizabeth said...

Praying for you, Futureman, and especially his mom. No amount of hurt in a parent's life can possibly compare to the ruination of that child's life by selfishness of a parent.