Our son was born on November 16, 1987. It made for a convenient Mary, Joseph and Jesus at our church’s annual live Nativity Scene. We are no longer members of that church, but the congregation continues the tradition every December. One key difference today, however, is that they have moved the production inside of their gym. The year we were the Christmas family, it was all outside ……. and cold……… very cold.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
There’s a lot of debate about the birth of Jesus. Some speculate about what season of the year it occurred. Evidence seems to suggest it was either in the spring or fall. While it may be a little disturbing to admit that the events of Jesus’ birth don’t correlate exactly with our Christmas calendar, when it happened shouldn’t really challenge our faith.
What is more disturbing, is that there are some less conservative Biblical scholars who will argue that the entire message of Luke 2 was made up by the early Christians. They specifically argue against the divine incarnation. The divine incarnation is the belief that Jesus was not just a man, but actually God in human flesh. To bring into question this element of the Christmas story is to question many of the Old Testament prophecies. Much of the legitimacy of the Bible depends on the accuracy of the Christmas account as recorded in Matthew and Luke.
The core truth of Christmas is that God has entered human life in the baby Jesus. By a mysterious process that we won’t ever understand, and that Matthew and Luke don’t even try to explain, God became human in the womb of Mary.
The Birth of Jesus: Hype or History? – Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts
For Christians, there are certain elements of the Christmas narrative that are nonnegotiable: the virgin birth, the location of Bethlehem, the appearance of angels, and most assuredly the incarnation. If Jesus was not God incarnate, then everything we’ve proclaimed, the entire foundation of our beliefs, the hope for eternal life, is nothing but a sham.
But ………… If Jesus is God ………..
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Every person must decide for themselves what they do and don’t believe. If you don’t accept the validity of the Christmas story as presented in scripture, I hope you will find time during the holidays to search, investigate the evidence, and pray that the Holy Spirit will confirm in your heart what scripture claims to be true.
As I raise the mug today, I say, “Believe! The story of the baby Jesus, God incarnate, is at the core of our Christian faith and leads us to the only means of salvation from our sin!”