Monday Musings for November 27, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Since we skate into December this week, I have a devotional thought today… and it’s about Christmas! But perhaps more accurately, it’s about Jesus’ nativity…. because the fact of Jesus’ birth is more important than the date of his birth… which is a good thing. You see, we only have hints in the Bible as to the date of his birth. So naturally, there are different critical ideas about it.

Some scholars argue for September, but I’m a date agnostic… hey — scholars can’t even agree on the year he was born! But I’m not agnostic about the fact that he was born because Jesus’ birth is a prerequisite for the important part — his atoning death... and we can run down any number of historical, biblical or theological rabbit holes pursuing “the truth” … but we should never miss the truth in the process.

What’s the truth? Jesus was an actual man who was actually born and who actually died… and who was raised from the dead for our justification (Romans 4:25). The fact that we don’t know the date of his birth with certainty is neither here nor there. God had a story to tell… and he told it.

With this in view, it doesn’t matter if the cultural/religious authorities took the day we would celebrate the birth of the Lord and plunked it on top of a pagan holiday. That doesn’t change the fact of his birth… the fact of his death… the fact of his resurrection — and those are the critical facts. Knowing the date of Jesus’ birth simply is not.

We Christians are people of faith… but we are so definitively. As such, let’s not add to the burden of faith by forcing people into unnecessary corners. You may have saving faith and fellowship with believers whether you subscribe to an old-earth paradigm or a young-earth paradigm… whether you subscribe to a dispensational coming of Christ or to amillennialism — those don’t matter — but neither does your position on the date of Christmas… so don’t let the Grinch steal it!

Are you worried that a great many of our Christmas accouterments have pagan origins? They do. But we own the symbolism now, so relax and enjoy it. The trick is to tell God’s story, and not to let the less important details weigh you down. Let’s take a lesson from the patriarch Jacob.

Jacob sired the nation Israel — and he did so through two pagan wives and two pagan concubines — yet, we don’t throw Israel away. God’s chosen people were 50% pagan by genetics… and 100% so by suckling at the start… yet they persisted as God’s chosen people.

Everyone (and everything) comes from somewhere. But we are the ones who determine whether to use life’s circumstances for God’s glory or not. We don’t live with perfect knowledge about anything at this time, but we live with enough knowledge to get the job done. So, get out there and tell God’s story. He did… and unabashedly so.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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