RELIGION ROUNDTABLE: Does it really matter whether or not Jesus was actually born on Christmas day?
Dec 20, 2013 | 2985 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Devotion, not date, matters most

If our purpose for observing Christmas is to worship the Savior and reverently remember his birth, he will forgive us if we miss the exact date. The Savior is more concerned with our hearts than our calendars (Mark 12:30).

The commercialization of Christmas can make us feel we are in a race to give the best present or send the prettiest Christmas card. We might be tempted to envy someone who receives an expensive present. In such moments, this season of joy can become a time of great frustration.

A Latter-day prophet of God recently said, “When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us, which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning.

“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ.

“Because he came to Earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year."

The date we choose does not make the difference. Our attitude toward the Savior makes the difference (Psalm 28:7).

Sid Kooyman, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Celebrate Jesus’ birth every day

This question can be answered one of two ways. First, we can be most certain that Jesus Christ was not born on Dec. 25. The church has never observed that particular day as if it was the literal date of Christ’s birth. The purpose of having the holiday during the month of December was to offset the pagan holiday surrounding the winter solstice. Many Christians abstain from the observance of this man-made holiday for that very reason.

Second, it does matter that Jesus Christ was born. The focus of the Scripture is that Jesus was the promised Messiah (John 1:1-14; Luke 2; Matthew 2). We believe that God became flesh and lived among us. The purpose of his birth is made clear in Hebrews 2:14-15, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Because Jesus came, lived, died and was raised from the dead, all who believe in him will have eternal life.

It does not matter that Jesus was not born on Dec. 25, but it is right to celebrate his birth on that day and all other days because it is through him that we are made right with God.

Carlton Weathers,Grace Fellowship, Anniston
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