Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What really matters about Christmas?

I have strolled through days of loving Christmas, explored only to discover the dates we use to celebrate are all wrong; I have meandered through the Bible to explore the Hebrew roots and stumbled upon culture and Hanukkah; I have wondered whether to put up a tree or glitter or give gifts and more; I have concluded Christmas marks the birth of GOD’s son, secular festivities, and much much more…

But at the end of the day, I ask myself — and you if you’re willing to ponder: What really matters about Christmas and how can we mark it well? 

Why the Nativity?

With a look at the nativity I aim to share with others at this Season, the love, truth, grace, peace and joy that the LORD offers to those who will receive.

GOD is love and He brings love, in the form of His son Yeshua. But He also ensures we have the capacity and opportunity to share love; we have an inbuilt need for love and relationship. He offers Himself and even if we reject Him, He loves us so much He reaches out through others so that no one needs be isolated or alone.

And now, the story of the Nativity is recounted in Luke 2:8-20 as follows,

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

What the Nativity shows us

We see fulfilled prophecy in that Isaiah and various other prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah in just the manner in which it is recorded here… Bethlehem will be the Messiah’s place of birth, a virgin will give birth, He will be a son of David — one born of King David’s line. There are hundreds of prophecies fulfilled in this one night (the substance of which is for another post).

We see the mercy of GOD in his love, respect and confidence for the lowly shepherds who were the blessed ones who would be the first to see this Messiah.

We see the wisdom of GOD in His choice of mother, who held the marvellous events in her heart, rather than boast or discuss or proclaim them.

We see the love of GOD for us in giving to us His son, who will be the Saviour of the entire world. Jesus would grow to teach us how to live, so that society moves from barbarism to life, from paganism to profound worship.

We see the truth of GOD in that He is not a respecter of persons, choosing a lowly stable, a modest couple to parent His son, and that babe who would grow to teach us love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control.

We see the commitment of GOD as He fulfilled His promise to send a Messiah, to stand for the Jewish people and land, to be GOD to those who would call Him GOD.

We see the power of GOD and the presence of GOD in the angels and in the babe Himself.

We see GOD Years later, Jesus would say to us, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)

So, what really matters about Christmas?

Simply, the birth of Yeshua — Jesus — Emmanuel, GOD with us.

And How can we mark it well?

Stay focused on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The trappings of turkey or gifts, tree and tinsel, these are not Christmas. The carols and cards, the family and friends, these are not Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is not necessarily of GOD, if it removes our gaze from the One and Only who gave up His heavenly authority to be of no account. The spirit of Christmas can be ignored when we look at the Son of GOD — the Son of Man, and linger on his infant beginning. And we mark Christmas well when we allow ourselves to ponder, to embrace and to engage with Him who came for us, and love one another as He has loved us, and as He has commanded us to do,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). 

On this hinges everything.

Examining Biblical Scripture

Holy Days: Let’s get it Right

Christianity, Christmas and Easter

Many of us who follow Jesus closely have turned from calling ourselves Christians because we recognise that is a turn-off to a lot of people. The label was given by unbelievers in the first place (Acts 11:26) and brings the Crusade slaughters of Muslims and Jews to mind.

If you follow your calendar and history closely, you’ve also begun to say, “Happy Resurrection Day” rather than refer to Easter, because you know that the possibly well-meaning but definitely anti-Semitic founding fathers took a pagan festival and turned it into a recognition of Jesus’ death and resurrection in order to celebrate Jesus’ powerful testimony and ultimate sacrifice, much the way Constantin turned a pagan festival into a day to mark Jesus’ birth (aka Christmas) to get the pagans to turn to the Christian faith.

Wow, that’s a mouthful of thought to turn culture and tradition onto its head.

So, let’s begin to get this right.

We don’t know the day of Jesus’ birth, except that it was most likely in the autumn, September or October, in line with the Feast of Tabernacles on the Jewish calendar. An analysis of Roman history would also assist in discovering when the taxes were issued for Judea in those years surrounding Jesus’ birth.

Jesus was Jewish. He, his family and his culture, celebrated all the festivals and practices of Judaism, based on GOD’s (aka Yehovah’s) Laws given to Moses in the desert. The Jewish calendar would be relevant to them as Jesus was growing up. It is relevant to GOD even now. Jesus categorically stated he did not come to replace but to fulfil the Law of Judaism (Matthew 5:17).

As for the day Jesus (aka Yeshua) was crucified, we know it was on the Passover (Matthew ) and then he rose 3 days (including that Passover night) later. Therefore, the day he was resurrected has nothing to do with Sunday. Ah, if that’s the case then the Lord’s day is not Sunday? Then why do we call Sunday the Lord’s Day? …. but we’ll come to that momentarily.

So, how do we follow the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus if it isn’t hinged to the Friday to Sunday timespan? We follow the Jewish calendar, if you think they are accurate.

Are the Jews accurate?

Yes. For passover, they count based on the setting of the sun and when the new moon comes into its place.

So, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus accurately, based on a given date, we need to link it to Passover. Why? Because that’s Biblical.

What is Biblical?

The whole of the Evangelical faith in Jesus is based on the Bible, the Old and New Testaments (aka Covenants) believed to be given to Mankind through designated and anointed people who wrote the history, laws, poetry, prophetic words and anointing as given to them by Yehovah. For example, Moses, who wrote the first five books, aka Pentateuch, was not present “In the Beginning” and so the Father, Yehovah, dictated it to him.

If we want to be accurate and follow our Faith seriously, we need to strip out culture and tradition of fifteen hundred years and go back to what Jesus practiced and taught. If we want to reach people with the Truth of GOD then we need to be truthful and accurate ourselves. If we expect to reach Muslims and Jews, we need to return to the teaching Yehovah gave to us through the promises of Father Abraham, who is the founding Father of the Jewish Faith and Peoples and who is the Father of Islam as well.

To be accurate is to credible and to be credible is to be powerful, and the testimony will be anointed of the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s be accurate rather than sentimental

Sentiment practices Christmas and Easter as indoctrinated by the Church long after Jesus’ ministry, and long after the original Apostles and the Early Church members had died.

Accuracy respects GOD’s calendar and carries a weight and power that is incontestable.

Let’s look to the Father and follow His plan

Finally, as to the LORD’s day, it is man-made.

“On the seventh day, God rested from all his works.” (Genesis 2:2)

From the beginning of time, God created His Sabbath. The Jews called it Saturday. The Church turned it into Sunday to extract itself from the Christ-killing Jews. But the Jews started Christianity in the first place. If it hadn’t been for the disciples whom Jesus chose and the early church He founded, there would be no Christianity. So calling the Jews Christ-killers is absurd. And extracting ourselves from the calendar of feasts and celebrations that GOD ordained is also stupid.

Let’s use the Sabbath whom GOD created, keep it holy and celebrate as He encourages, not as keeping of the Law, if you argue or resent that, but as an offering to the Father whom we love and as a blessing He intended for us.

Let’s completely rid ourselves of the inaccuracies of the man-made Church some fifteen hundred years ago, rather than pick and choose what we like and don’t like.

Let us represent the Truth of the Full Gospel message, to gentiles but also to muslims and Jews.

Let’s begin to get this Faith in Jesus accurate in practical ways. Let’s get it right, once and for all.

Politics and Society today

The Spirit of Christmas: a new look

Spiritual Language offers Optimism

In recent years, I’ve been hearing more and more frequently the expression, “the spirit of Christmas”. It seemed odd the first time I heard in in the secular world. But I thought at first, perhaps this marks a move toward embracing the spiritual aspect of Christmas. That was naive of me as I now believe that, although the expression is referring to the fun, celebration and gift-giving of Christmas, there is no recognition of anything of Jesus nor anything of the spiritual realm as Believers would see it. We Believers can digest it; we can share in the use of the phraseology, but take note: if we do, what is it actually that we are sharing? Not, I think, anything of the Holy Spirit or of Godly spirituality, but rather, it is something of the spirit of the Age. 

Destabilising Traditional Thinking (i.e. rocking the boat)

This will touch the heart of many a Believer, who sincerely looks forward to Christmas as a means to share the birth of the Saviour of the world and to evangelise friends and family. But I think it’s time we wake up to the fact that although “Christ” is in the word, there is not the spirit of the Saviour of the world in the festival.

Perhaps I am a grinch, or a scrooge – although I’m not particularly known to be lacking in generosity. Certainly in years past, I accused my husband of being such, because for as long as I’ve known him he has never had anything to do with Christmas.

“It’s a pagan festival, Sarah. Don’t you know?” Some such words were what came out of him the first Christmas I knew him. He tried to explain: he hated the tree with its pagan roots and the fake dating. Much more, he decried the fact that if God wanted us to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, he would have given us a date.

Well, I’ve come round to Alan’s way of thinking, not least of which because I’ve been exploring our Hebraic Roots. But it isn’t just that. It’s more that I have “seen the light!” which makes me recognise the ruse that is Christmas and the fleshly nature of it.

I think we who know Jesus and who celebrate Christmas may do so for the best intentions of the world, but it is simply that: of the world.

Oh, I held onto Christmas for a while, clinging to the validity of the Nativity scene. And I suppose I still enjoy it. But in the case of our decorations, even that piece of Seasonal Artillery I’ve passed on to a charity shop.


December time was marked for the Pagan Festival of the Winter Solstice until Three Hundred and Something AD. And then, as Constantine made Christianity a true religion and wanted every one to convert, all things of the Church began to change and new traditions were born. Jewish connections were abandoned, and the Roman Catholic tradition marked the birth of Jesus, generally mark 25th December. The Protestants would maintain the tradition. The Orthodox also marked the birthday but then, as now, looked to early January for their festival.

In Victorian England Christmas saw an explosion with cards and gift-giving becoming a trend.

Now Christmas is a world-wide event, recognised across vast territories of non-Christian cultures.

Jesus may be the “reason for the Season” but that isn’t really common knowledge except amongst Christians.

The truth as I see it is, Christmas has become a tradition (as has Easter), whose root is heathen, dressed in Christian garb for centuries, but now returning to its original root. And for Believers, I think we need – as I mentioned in the last newsletter – to step away from tradition, even when it’s church tradition, if it is only tradition but not really truth.

Birth of Jesus

Jesus was most likely born during the Feast of Tabernacles, in the autumn – our late September or early October. What’s in a date? Well, the creator made it abundantly clear Jesus died at His festival of Passover. So, why would He not share Jesus’ birth so we could celebrate it, unless He didn’t really consider it important for us to mark it.

Letting go of Christmas has been easy for me this year. In previous years I found the Season hard because Alan didn’t like it. It was a lonely time for me, unable to enter into the celebration fully as others do. (Not that Alan denied me, but rather, since he wasn’t interested, it created a void for me.) But this year I am just not interested… because I’ve realised it is something of the flesh and I’m no longer interested.

It helps that my son gets it too

How do I cope with the Season with a youngish boy? I’ve always given him presents though never, anything marked from Santa. This year we’ve just finished celebrating Hanukah. Again, son has received presents… and has enjoyed that. We’re finished now, before the hullabaloo of the mercantile-centred 25th of December.

As for our Christmas day? We’ve been invited to family and will enjoy being with them and we will engage, even with gift-giving, because that’s what is in our culture. “When in Rome…” I will not shun the day, nor will I preach against it and spoil the day for those who have so graciously invited us. BUT I do not spear-head a Christmas Day celebration anymore. And that’s because I realise what’s behind it.

Spirit of Christmas

I began earlier by saying I realise there is a spirit of Christmas and it is not the Holy Spirit. For me, realising this is enough to ignore the Christmas celebration. Over the years, when my dear hubby gave me information, I wasn’t convinced. But more recently, became convicted by the lingo, “the spirit of Christmas.” For me, this “innocent” phrase was the proverbial straw…

I am a truth-searcher. I reckon most of this readership is also. In large part, that’s why I’m sharing.

I am not indicating we all shun Christmas because it isn’t for me to say. But, as always, if we are resistant to a “new thing” we need to ask ourselves Why? Are we surrendered to our Father God? What are we hanging onto? Can we let go and more importantly, are we meant to let go? Remember, “We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Here’s a little ditty which I wrote. To my way of thinking, it identifies what is behind the spirit of Christmas.

The Spirit of Christmas

People laughing

or glaring

flaring for a parking space

or a bit of bargain

desperate to impress

the boss or mistress

such is the spirit of Christmas

It is up to each individual to decide what to do next.