Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

December 7, 2012

The December dilemma

If Jesus were to send us an invitation to one of the winter holiday celebrations (Christmas or Hanukkah), which one do you think He would invite us to attend?

Would it be the one claiming to be His birthday, even though most theologians agree that He was not born on Dec. 25? This is the same winter celebrations where families go out into the woods, cut down a tree, set it up in their home, decorate it with gold and silver baubles and place gifts under it, even though the Bible specifically tells us not to do this (Deut. 12:2; Jer. 10:1-4; Jer. 3:13; Jer. 2:20).

This is the party where they use all the customs and rituals that God tells His people not to use in His celebrations, because they are used in pagan celebrations (Deut. 12:1-5, 29-31). This is the birthday party that neither Jesus nor anyone else in the New Testament Church ever celebrated on Dec. 25.

Since Jesus never observed any of these feasts and the Bible commands us specifically not to celebrate them, I don’t think Jesus would invited us to this winter holiday celebration.

Or would Jesus invite us to the winter Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) that celebrates religious freedom and the rededication of the temple after it was defiled by the Antiochus Epiphanies (Daniel 8 and 9; 1 Maccabees 4:52-59). This a celebration that Jesus Himself celebrated in the Temple, during which He first revealed that He was the Messiah (John 10:22-30).

Jesus also said events surrounding this holiday would repeat themselves in the future and would be a sign that His return was drawing near.

This winter celebration lasts for eight days in the same manner as the Feast of Sukkot (2 Maccabees 10:6-7). Sukkot, or the Fest of Tabernacles, is one of God’s high holy days that Jesus also celebrated (John 7:37-39). In fact, Jesus celebrated all seven of the Lord’s Feasts recorded in Leviticus 23, of which, He fulfilled four of them at His first coming. The Apostles and the New Testament Church also observed the Feasts of the Lord rather than the non-biblical secular holidays containing pagan customs and ritual (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 20:16; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; 1 Cor. 16:8).

What winter holiday celebration do I think Jesus would invite us to? I believe it would be the one that He actually celebrated. I also believe He would invited us to all the other biblical Feasts of the Lord that celebrate His life, death and resurrection, and not the counterfeits that come in His name. The truth is, He has already sent us an invitation to all His Feasts ... It’s called the Bible.

Ron Clark

Cumberland

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