May I also suggest that if you haven't picked up your copy of the book, you do so now.
(great, here comes the gratuitous link)
Yup - here it is! Why the Nativity? by David Jeremiah
Today's chapter is a perfect example of how in depth actual historical records have been studied by skeptics and believers alike. There is so much history in the timeline surrounding the actual true event of Jesus' birth that it is no wonder you can take courses simply on that portion of history.
There are numerous Christian believers that believe simply on faith. I am one of them, however, I love to do research and dig deeper. When I find information that can paint a picture for me, even if contrary to what I was raised believing, I gobbled it like a famished being.
For example, I have a Jewish calender in my Bible. I also know the global position of Ancient Palestine compared to where I live -- eastern US. So when I'm reading through the Old Testament and an event is referenced solely by "the fifteenth day of the second month", I can look up the time frame on the Jewish calendar and get a sense of the weather they may have been experiencing or how long a trip took them, etc.
I love that!
So when it came to studying all I could discover about the birth of Jesus and how Christmas is celebrated AROUND the world, not just here in the US, I again devoured all I could. For some time now I've know there is a great possibility Jesus was born in the spring. Isn't it funny how many Nativity scenes have snow? Nevermind that most of the of the places where Christmas is celebrated there is never snow on December 25th. I mean, Hawaii...come on now. Snow? But that's ok. They celebrate it in a way that is customary to them.
Regardless, there was most probably no snow on the ground in Bethlehem either.
Recently I came across a post by another blogger that was written in a manner that was unloving in an attempt to mock and ridicule Christians for saying "Jesus is the Reason". What I thoroughly enjoyed about this writer's post is that the factual information was true. I love knowing why Christmas is celebrated when it is and I know many others who feel the same way. I also love knowing that information is readily available to anybody who truly wants to do a little digging.
May I offer a word of caution?
Be careful getting lost in studying the details of a single tree that you miss the beauty of the entire forest.
The author of the blog on the historical significance of Christmas did just that and missed the point.
From David Jeremiah's book, Why the Nativity?
Dec 22 : Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on December 25?
"It's as good a day as any. It's a 'together day' when we can feel all the world bowing as one before the King. But all the other days of the year are Christmas, too. That's the measure of his great gift to us."Those are Dr. Jeremiah's thoughts after detailing several important truths from history and how the date came to be THE date. It was written in such a way that it encourages the reader to want to discover more and for me, it strengthens what I already know.
If you're curious, feel free to read the post written by the blogger I mentioned in the beginning. I must warn you, it's not written from a perspective of love. Regardless of the truth in the facts documented, like I said it was typed out in a form to mock those who truly may not know the actual "reason for the season". Unfortunately, the writer assumed ignorance on the part of many.
That's never a good place to start.
But you can read it here.
Sit back, enjoy the view of the forest, sip a latte, and eat a cupcake. Remember the point that it doesn't matter the date Jesus was born. What matters is that He did enter this world and we must celebrate that very fact so others also don't miss the point.
Jesus IS the reason for the season, cupcakes.