Considering how almost everything about the way we celebrate Christmas has its roots in paganism or other religions, its a big disingenuous thing to talk about it as a `spiritual event. Its not a matter of faith. Theres nothing in the Bible about celebrating Christs birth not does the celebration show up in any of our creeds. When we defend Christmas, Im not sure what were defending but were certainly not defending Christ or Christianity.
Response: David, I appreciate your comments. I think you confuse two things: the literal date, day, month, of Christs birth which we dont knowand the importance of the feast day itself. True, the date of an early pagan observance was adopted but the exact date since it is unknowable. Yet the feast of the Nativity is the most important celebration in the Christian calendar because it marks our own possible redemption. In Advent the coming of Christ is anticipated, looking back to the age of prophecy which foretold the birth of the Messiah: thus it most certainly is in both Old and New Testaments. I assume youre familiar with Luke telling of the birth of Christ and Luke is the only evangelist who gives it in detail. He recounts 10 episodes in all: including the annunciation of John the Baptists birth as forerunner of Christ, announcement of Jesus forthcoming birth to Mary, the visit of Mary to Elizabeth where the unborn John leapt in Elizabeths womb. Luke tells the Nativity story from Marys perspective, of the visit to her by the Angel Gabriel, her acceptance of Gods will. The birth is said to have taken place when Ouirinius was governor of Syria and citizens had to travel to their ancestral towns to register for the census.
Then Luke records Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable. Angels announce the birth to shepherds who left their flocks to observe the child. Luke the physician serves as a superb reporter, writing since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account. After Mary observes her 40 days of ritual purification, she goes with Joseph to the temple to present Jesus to God. There Simeon and Anna, two elderly persons, recognize the infant as the promise Messiah with Simeon concluding that Jesus would cause many in Israel to fall and rise and bring deep sorrow to the heart of Mary. So the Nativity is front and center as a harbinger in the Jewish bible and in the New Testament. As to the Nativity not showing up in the creeds, in the Apostles Creed the wording is and in Jesus Christ, our Lord who was born of the Virgin Mary. In the Nicene Creed it is in our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father. In Advent the Christian church refers to the historic prophecies of Christs coming, citing the age of prophecy which foretold the birth of the Messiah and looking ahead prophetically to His coming at the dawn of each persons eternity and His coming on the last day of the present world.
You say when we defend Christmas Im not sure what were defending but were sure not defending Christ or Christianity. I can only say that you are totally theologically and historically wrong in this. It is unreasonable to insist that Christmas, the observance of Christs birth, does not pertain to Christianity. Indeed, thats the central issue as to what Christianity is all about. And if you think were absolved from celebrating Christmas because Luke didnt specifically recommend doing so in his gospel, I can only say that as he scribbled out his words, this physician was also rather busy with more immediate needs: tending to Pauls infirmities, trailing Paul and writing all the while, accompanying Paul when he went to jail in Phillipi and ultimately to Rome where the Apostle to the Gentiles was beheaded. After writing of the miraculous birth of Jesus, it would be redundant to suggest that now and henceforth everyone should celebrate the day. Its rather obvious. I urge you to think it over. But I do value your comments.