Separating the weed from the wheat
“You are a king, then! said Pilate. Jesus answered, you say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. What is truth? retorted Pilate. With this he went out again..." (John 18:37-38)
Every story like this has two sides. The traditional side we'd like to hear and don't want tampered with, and the "other" side we'd love to avoid, because it calls for us to rethink established customs.
As followers of Jesus, however, we have no choice. We will have to listen to both sides of the argument and decide about what the truth is. We are not to ask Jesus, as Pilate did, "What is truth?" but without waiting for the answer, turn our backs on Jesus.
The traditional side of the Christmas story you already know very well, and we don't need to elaborate on it in detail. This one is the other side of the story. Decide for yourself which one you think is the right one.
Let me begin by saying that Christmas is the holiest day of the year, not just for Christians but even on the World Calendar. December 25 is the day that the "Immortal, the Unseen" (1 Timothy 6:16) "visited" the world by the angel gynaecologist using the sperm codes he received from the "unapproachable light" for the in-vitro fertilization of the egg cell of the virgin Mary and thus ignited the "true Light" for the world (John 1:9) in Mary's womb and fused Creator and creature from which the Immanuel Child would be born.
The birth of Jesus was to take place like that of any other normal human being, 39-40 weeks later. This happened on September 28th, which is not just any day. This is the first day of the creation Year. The Jews were instructed to celebrate this day according to their lunisolar calendar on the 10th of the 7th month. (Lev.23:27) They call it Yom Kippur, which means "head of the year," a day that flutters like a "moth around the candle" of September 28 through the years and flies into it some years, as in 2020.
The Bible gives quite a lot of indications that this is the correct date of Jesus' birthday. September 28 occurs at the beginning of the northern hemisphere's autumn, so the sheep could certainly still stay in the fields of Bethlehem, because the very cold winter was still at least two-and-a-half months away. The Day also fell in the year of Jesus' birth during the great festive season of trumpet blasts, a festive season that started on the 1st of the 7th Jewish month, included Yom Kippur, and ended with the Festival of Booths 21 days later.
However, the event that is the conclusive evidence for the birthday of September 28 was the census. Evidently, Caesar Augustus was someone who listened to his counsellors. He wanted to do a thorough headcount of the Jews that gave him such a headache, but in his extended Empire it was an impossible task. However, his counsellors knew that there was a Jubilee at hand for the Jews, which compelled them to go to their homeland according to the Law of Moses! (Lev.25) This was the ideal opportunity for a wide-ranging census among the Jews. (See Luke 2:1-4)
No wonder there was no room for Mary and Joseph in an inn! So, Jesus was born in an empty stable where there was room because the animals stayed in the field, because the autumn weather allowed it. When the Wise men from the east visited Jesus, the commotion of the Jubilee was a thing of the past, and they found Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in a house. (Mat.2:11)
THE HEAVENLY TRINITY
THE FATHER: The celebration on December 25 will therefore not be a "Mass for Christ", but as the most holy "Feast of Light", Christians will celebrate and proclaim the first Person in the Heavenly Trinity. Other Religions also have festivals of light, but Christianity's is unique in that it specifically honours the Creator-Father.
THE SON: September 28 will at the same time be the "Feast of Creation" and the "Feast of the Reconciler," the Son's special feast day. For the Jews, it is (according to their lunisolar calendar) the gloomiest day on their calendar, for their Day of Atonement points to the Atonement ritual performed in the Temple (Leviticus 16) and manifested before Pilate, the Cross, and in the Jewish extermination camps of Hitler, while Christianity at the same time celebrates the joyful "Silent Night, Holy Night" when Jesus the Saviour was born as a human being.
THE HOLY SPIRIT: On the Day of Pentecost, Christians will then honour the third Person in the Holy Trinity, the "Advocate" (John 14:16), and sing the praises of Christianity's Teacher. He is one of the seven angels (Revelation 1:9-20) who were delegated to the seven mainstream religions (the seven congregations) as "Teachers", yet all "held in Jesus' right hand" despite the diverse teachings taught in the different religions.
And there we have it. God is a God of order, and for everything and season under His sun there is a time and place. (Pre.3:1) We can continue in this “traditional” way but not if we want to serve God in Spirit and Truth. (John 4:23-24)
MY CHRISTMAS WISHES: On this note I would like to wish all my friends on Facebook and twitter as well as in the real world and especially in the Group Elijah, as well as everyone who reads this piece, a blessed CREATOR FESTIVAL, or FESTIVAL OF LIGHT. May the Father's Love light up your life so that no darkness will ever gain a foothold in your soul.
I am Barend Williams, a seventy two year old pensioner living in the Cape Province of South Africa. On Good Friday of the year 1985 I had a close encounter with the Divine, which totally changed my direction in life. I hope you find the articles here a Blessing from heaven. Amen.