All I Want For Christmas Is The Gospel Truth
Posted on December 17, 2019 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the LORD has promised us.” Numbers 14:40 (NLT)
I’m not sure if Augustine thought he’d be argued with about the birth of Jesus Christ occurring on December 25th. He would say this in one of his sermons, “Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase.” Now from what I’ve read over the years, there have been many a guess and many an argument for and against it being around the time of the winter solstice. The one thing that has been the constant fight is getting an answer to the question of there being a Christianizing of pagan practices or a paganizing of Christianity?
Even the beloved Christmas Tree isn’t spared from the battle. During the Christianization of Germany, Christian missionary, Boniface, reportedly cut down the sacred oak tree of Odin (Donar’s Oak), used its wood to build a church and a fir tree grew in its place. Boniface dedicated that tree to the Holy Child because of its triangular shape, representing the Trinity, that seemingly pointed to heaven. Considering that, according to Germanic mythology, Odin oversees Valhalla, the infamous Viking heaven, you might see the conflict of Christianizing or paganizing. But to me, it’s only a tree, but I do romanticize about the Valhalla part (I like Vikings, okay?) Anyway…
Our modern-day version of Christmas has become cluttered with the idea of PRESENTS!!! (bet ya didn’t see that coming) I had a friend of old once say you should get presents for YOUR birthday and not on HIS birthday but I have a funny feeling that’s not God. Why do I say that? Well, El Elyon has been trying to get us to accept His gift of freedom from slavery for as long as chapter three of Genesis. One of these examples can be found in the book of Numbers.
It’s time to go into the land of milk and honey and YHVH has just instructed Moses to “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” (Numbers 13:2) So for forty days, 12 guys go explore a land they’re gonna inherit and, as an amusing side note here, Moses tells them to check out the trees (verse 20). They see all kinds of amazing things, “and it certainly does flow with milk and honey”, they brought back samples of the fruit to show to the people. BUT, Houston, we got a problem. 10 of the 12 ends up saying, “the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” (Numbers 13:28) What a bunch of killjoys!!
Ya know something? This wasn’t like YHVH wanted anyone’s approval on whether the Promised Land met up to Israel’s standards, I believe He wanted them to see for themselves that YHVH keeps His promises. They saw miracles and yet they stilled grumbled. By the time all the whining and crying got done, He made a decision to keep them a slave to aimless wandering saying to them, “You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against Me” (Numbers 14:29a).
When it was too late, they changed their minds and decided they would accept YHVH’s offer making slight of disobedience they exhibited earlier. YHVH isn’t having any of it and the years pass. But true to His Word, He is ready to guide His people into the Promised Land but with a new set of conditions. Joshua will lead the charge and they’ll be told this, “If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree…for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God.” (Deut 21:22-23)
And so Biblical history went forward. An Exile will occur during those ancient days and within that YHVH will make numerous promises on a coming Messiah. What He will come and do will prove to a disbelieving world that the Father’s Word is the Gospel Truth but there’ll be rejection at that time too. That’s for the next time I’m with you but for now, allow me to end with this. I agree with my friend about getting gifts on His birthday and yet stuff will be under our decorative trees and we’ll open them with glee, what are we giving Him?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “The greatest gift God gave us is also our greatest curse. We are made in God’s image, the Bible says, which means we have the ability to love Him or not love Him, to reject Him or not reject Him.” -Rick Warren
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.