LK. 2:9-12 – And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
All of my life there has been something mystical about Christmas Day. Now before I get lectures from the people who say “you know Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th” let me share a couple of things with you. From the earliest times Christmas has been celebrated on December 25. As a matter of fact, Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), Tertullian (155-240 BC) and John Chrysostrom (349-407AD) believed December 25 was the day. They all quote a registry in the Roman archives of the census of Caesar Augustus that talk about “Mary the mother of Jesus” and give December 25 as the day.
The next thing that is often said is that shepherds wouldn’t be out in these fields in December. The thing many people fail to realize is that sheep were offered as sin offerings by the thousands all year round just a couple of miles from Bethlehem at the temple in Jerusalem. These were surely temple sheep being raised as offerings for the temple. If angels were going to visit shepherds, why not the ones raising the lambs sacrificed for our sins? Not that it really matters which day Jesus came, I’m just saying don’t let legalistic people still your joy about a date they don’t even know about themselves.
As for this special day, the Lord Himself seems to set it aside and make it special for His Glory. Businesses shut down, stores and restaurants close, and most people make it back home for Christmas. There is something about standing still as an individual, as a family, and as a people that centers us once again. Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King. Have you opened your heart to this incredible King? Have you made room in your life for Christmas? Have you made room in your life for Jesus? If not, open your heart right now and invite Him to be born in your heart this Christmas.