If I was really, really, really thinking about this time of year, there are certain thoughts that I would have to think about as I enter this time of year: what it means. Of course, we are entering the time of year where those who subscribe to the Christian faith recognize one of the significant events that frames the religious observances of it: that we recognize it as the time of the Christ’s birth. Now, the question that most skeptics ask, in fact if you were to travel to places in this nation (United States), you would find billboards and displays that question the beliefs of those who subscribe, not only to Christianity but other religions as well, most vocally Christianity though. Is this a problem? Not for me, because I like to talk about these issues, but what about those who get confronted by these situations, they need help too.
I guess that question #1 would be, was Jesus born on December 25th?
What is interesting about that question is that the answer is not clear. What we do know is that the stellar phenomenon addressed in Luke’s gospel, the Star, was ,and still is, a verifiable event. It was actually Jupiter, in retrograde orbit. What is significant is that eastern astrologists and magicians recognized this event as the “king star”, what’s more is that these “magi” were looking for this event because they had a copy of a prophecy made by one of their own 400 years before, a man called Balteshazzar, who prophesied almost to the day when a king would be born who would rule the whole world. We might know this prophet better by his Hebrew name: Daniel. With this prophecy in hand, those in the old Medo-Persian empire watched the sky in anticipation, and the star appeared, leading them to the city of Bethlehem and the Christ, who was born some 2 years earlier, the date of their arrival: December 25th. Christmas, then, is not so much a recognition of Christ’s birth, but a recognition of his recognition as the prophesied king of glory, who, thirty-one years later, would be recognized by his own people, then rejected by them, killed in jealousy, and be raised to life to deliver to us the promise that all who believe in Him would have the same.
Like I said, it’s a lot to think about.