Traditionally, Christmas is a celebration that focuses on the birth of Christ in the Abrahamic religion of Christianity. The Messiah would be born in the Little town of Bethlehem as a result of an Evil King named Herod who heard the prediction of a Savior and Messiah of the Hebrew nation. In his mind he thought that this Savior would come to thrwart his Kingdom by violent upheavals and uprisings and therefor he issued an edict to kill all of the children of a certain age before they could start a revolution.
Children were marched out of their homes in the middle of the night and placed into the back of chariots driven to the sea and drowned. Some were even dashed to pieces ontop of the rocks that lie below while their mothers with breast milk was still leaking down the front of their shirts clinging to their helpless men who were killed if they tried to resist the soldiers. They wept bitterly for the lives and souls of their babies and endured the trial until Herod thought he had killed the predicted Savior. What was the actual prediction that drove him to this egotistical rage:
Isaiah 11The Branch From Jesse
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
12 He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The LORD will dry up
the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
over the Euphrates River.
He will break it up into seven streams
so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from Egypt.
Herod knew that if this child were to be born that would be the end of his familial dynasty and that the Hebrew race would be free from his control and he needed people to build his empire, yes slave labor, jealousy and greed were his motivations.
Mary was about 14 years old when she was betrothed to Joseph a middle aged carpenter in Jerusalem, he had several wives and a lucrative business that supported his lifestyle. In the course of this historical fact Mary a virgin was approached by an Angel that declared that she would be the vessel, that God would use to usher in a new paradigm here on Earth. She would conceive a child without ever being touched by a man, she would be a participant in the Immaculate conception. She would birth the Messiah, the King, the Savior Jesus. What is more incredible that this is the fact that Joseph was separately visited by and Angel that instructed him not to put Mary away quietly as he had been pressured to do by onlookers who obviously saw that Mary was getting bigger and bigger. He took her on a journey that would go down in history. The two parents that God chose for The Christ were symbolically related to God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus was the Word. The position that Jesus played in Heaven he would also play in Earth. God was the father and carpenter of the Universe, Mary was the purity and innocence that God needed in order to get his message through. Only someone that young could accept God at his word and be able to perform a miracle which is exactly what it was. This was the response she gave the angel; "As you have spoken so be it!" She was a tool for God's remarkable plan of Salvation, Redemtion and Restoration. It has also been recorded that both Mary and Joseph were finacially well off, but nothing would compare to what happened once the birth pains began to kick in literally and Mary demanded that Joseph stop at an overbooked little inn in the town of Bethelehem.
Mary had to have her child in a barn, a stable, a place where they kept the animals. As she prepared by breathing deeply and pushing visitors were on the way. Three wise men, shepherds, blessed men with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrr following a star in the East, what I like to call ancient GPS it guided them to the spot. According to history their gifts totalled in the billions and guess what it is totally possible because in that region even when it wasn't Christmas they exchanged gifts all year round. The gold which is steadily rising in monetary value today represents the financial wealth that Jesus would inherit, the frankincense is an aromatic resin Wikipedia. It is also called olibanum, levonah, and lubban. Frankincense is a truly particular item it can grow out of solid rock and is harvested in some of the most unforgiving climates. People have known it for it's fragrance, it was perfume and they bought enough to secure Jesus for a life time, pay for his college tuition, first home, establish his government. Myrr is another word for bitter. According to historical accounts it has been equally paired with gold. Myrr is extracted by the puncturing of a tree directly into the sap vein, it causes the tree to bleed and milk out a sappy substance, myrr was used for the fragrance and the medicinal qualities. Now what better gifts could one give to a child at his birth ceremony at the time, medicine, perfume and money and lots of it. Jesus was set for life for whatever task that he would undertake.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
Esther 9:21-23 (in Context) Esther 9 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 24:53
Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
Genesis 24:52-54 (in Context) Genesis 24 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 25:6
But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
Genesis 25:5-7 (in Context) Genesis 25 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 32:20
And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”
Genesis 32:19-21 (in Context) Genesis 32 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 32:21
So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.
Genesis 32:20-22 (in Context) Genesis 32 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 43:15
So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph.
Genesis 43:14-16 (in Context) Genesis 43 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 43:25
They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
Genesis 43:24-26 (in Context) Genesis 43 (Whole Chapter)
- Genesis 43:26
When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.
Genesis 43:25-27 (in Context) Genesis 43 (Whole Chapter)
- Exodus 28:38
It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the LORD.
Exodus 28:37-39 (in Context) Exodus 28 (Whole Chapter)
- Leviticus 23:38
These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD’s Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)
Leviticus 23:37-39 (in Context) Leviticus 23 (Whole Chapter)
- Numbers 7:3
They brought as their gifts before the LORD six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle.
Numbers 7:2-4 (in Context) Numbers 7 (Whole Chapter)
We complain about Christmas, when there are ethnicities that give gifts for hundreds of occassions all through the year as stated above. What are the implications of Christmas from this information? I think that they are very obvious. God needed a sacrificial lamb, unblemished and hand chosen. He was was tired of the redundancy of heartless sacrifices that were bought to the altar day after day with no true repentance for sin. He needed to bridge the gap of separation between mankind and their creator or mankind would be accursed forever. He needed a man that could make it all happen and follow through with the plan and execute with perfection. Mary and Joseph were the major players in the sequence of events that would change history forever by bringing a child forth that would bear God's governmental laws and precepts upon his shoulders. In his life he would give the keys to the Kingdom to it's new citizens, all those who followed his commands.
So, as we examine Christmas or the celebration of, with a fine toothed comb, we see that Jesus was a billionaire at birth with chosen parents that exemplified the very essence of God in human beings. Although, alot of criticism is projected towards Christians for acutally taking time to pay homage to Christ I think that it is safe to say that Mary and Joseph stepped out on faith with all of the miraculous events that took place within that tiny window of time and ushered in a new era that would transform the way we interact with one another and with the living God. Our earthly lesson should be that we ought to conciously bring children into this world with a plan in mind with some sort of idea of how we will provide for thier future by putting up trust and college funds that can act as safety nets against poverty. Purchasing things such as savings bonds and putting away funds for the future. Christmas is only one day of the year that we pause to be nice and extend our kindness to our children, family, and friends through gift giving it should be year round and with a spirit of excellency.