The History of Christmas
Hey readers!! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m super busy with making Christmas gifts!! Of course, I also have to keep up with school, so that makes my schedule even busier… That being said, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as often!! Schoolwork keeps me on my toes most of the time ;)
So what have you been busy with? What are your plans for Christmas gifts? I’d love to hear from you!! Drop me a line from the Contact Me tab, or post a comment below!
During this holiday season, we can all get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, mid-term exams, planning our Christmas break, etc. Believe me, so have I!! But it’s important to remember the true “Reason for the season,” as some people call it. This is the purpose of my post today!! Please don’t be scared off by the title of this post… I promise it’s really interesting, and could potentially change your life if you’re willing!! So settle in with a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee… or tea…) and enjoy reading about the history of Christmas…
It all began with God. And really, nothing can begin, continue, or even end without God. What I’m going to tell you about is no exception. Now, don’t be shocked with what I’m about to tell you next, ’cause it’s true for all of us: we are sinners. Because we are sinners, we need God to save us. God wants to save us, because he loves us so much. So he made a way for that to happen. He sent his only begotten son. Only Someone who truly loved us would send His only son to die for us. I mean really, if you had only one child – whom you loved so dearly – would you let him/her be killed for a bunch of criminals and sinners if it would give them the chance to live forever in perfect peace? Didn’t think so. The Bible says, in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” Pretty amazing, right??
Anyway, God chose to use a virgin named Mary to fulfill his wonderful plan. He sent an angel to her to tell her some wonderful news. Here’s what the gospel of Luke says about the angel’s visit:
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Now ladies, wouldn’t you be even a little frightened if an angel appeared to you – out of nowhere – and told you that you would conceive the Son of God?? I know I would be… By the way, isn’t verse 37 just awesome?? So… after this happened, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant. She was carrying a son, who would be called John (he grew up to be John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus – see Luke 1, Luke 3, and John 1 for more on John the Baptist). The Bible says that John leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice!!
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
After Mary had stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, she went back to Nazareth.
Now, awhile after Mary had returned from visiting Elizabeth, Caesar Augustus (the ruler at that time) sent out a decree that everyone was to go back to their hometowns so that he register them. So Joseph took Mary (and baby Jesus, who was not yet born) to his hometown of Bethlehem. Keep in mind that this would have been a long and tiresome journey – especially for a woman who is pregnant!! When they finally got to Bethlehem, all the inns were full! Apparently, a lot of people had to come to Bethlehem to be registered… Joseph and Mary searched for an inn that would have room for them, but there was none! So Jesus had to be born in a barn. A barn you ask? Yep, a barn! Jesus, the Son of God, had to be born in a barn. Once He was born, Mary “wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger”.
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The history of Christmas continued when the shepherds and wise men came to visit Jesus. The shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth by a multitude of angels singing praises. The wise men followed a star to where Jesus was and brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Read about these amazing events in Luke 2 and Matthew 2!! Continue reading about Jesus’ life and death (He died for you, by the way!!) in any of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please contact me!! I’d love to hear from you :) Just remember: God loves you, sent His Son to die for you, and all you need to do is believe in Him to be saved and have eternal life!!
Merry Christmas everyone!! :)