"Christmas Is Not Over" 

     The tinsel is now down; the lights have been  put away; the decorated  trees have  been either planted or ground for ground cover; the gifts have soon lost their  interests and the  wrappings are all disposed of - Christmas is over. 

   Is Christmas truly over when the calendar changes from December 25 to the 26th? Let us check to see. Everything about the Bethlehem Christmas is distinctly Jewish: the parents of Jesus, the town of Bethlehem, the Shepherds, the circumcision, the temple scene — these all combine to make a purely Jewish Christmas. 

   But, wait, this Child of Bethlehem was to be the Savior of all men of all lands and of all times. So, the Jewish Christmas story is followed by the Gentile Christmas story, often referred to as Epiphany. The word is from the Greek and means appearance or becoming public. 

   The modern Nativity Scenes are grossly incorrect. They invariably show the Wise Men and the Shepherds side by side at the Stable where Christ was born. When the Shepherds rushed to see what it was the Angels had told them, Christ had just been born. When the Wise Men arrived, Jesus was then a two year old child at home with Mary and Joseph. Read Matthew 2, very carefully.  Verse 11 states ". . . when they had come into the house . . ." — not a stable.  In verse 16, it is related that Herod had all the children under the age of two slain.  From these two verses in Matthew 2,  we see that Jesus was by now two years old, and  in a house. 

   Shepherds from the fields not far from Bethlehem rushed to see the new born baby. The Wise Men had ridden by camel hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles, following a star to see "He who born King of the Jews."  The Shepherds, who were Jewish, had to be urged by Angels to go see what had transpired in Bethlehem. The Wise Men, who were Gentiles, followed a light from a great distance to see this miracle of Christmas. 

   We all have heard and sang the song "Twelve Days of Christmas."  Do not take this too lightly. Count forward from December 25, twelve days and you will land on January 6!  December 25, is the Christmas of the Jews, whereas, January 6 is the Christmas of the Gentiles or Epiphany. 

   Let us thank God for His revelation. When Christ was born on that first Christmas, most of our ancestors were heathens who roved the plains of Europe. That we Gentiles are Christians today we owe to the fact that Christ is the Savior of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews. In a very real sense, then, today, January 6, is our Christmas. We are the Gentiles who have been brought into the safety of the fold by the Savior's all-embracing, matchless mercy. Let us never cease to praise Him for having called us out of the darkness into the wonders of His marvelous light.

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.





Updated Dec 11, 2010
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