For celebrants, it is the commemoration of the time love came down in the person of a child on whose brow rests the invisible crown of Deity. He was called Immanuel, which means God with us.
The lofty title of “Son of God” is confusing to many. Some ask, “Well, who was Mrs. God?” A definition of “son” found in most dictionaries is “one who was produced by a father.” That is not how the title is used in Scripture. Dictionaries also define “son” as “a person closely associated with a nation, school, race or belief.”
Thus, dictionaries recognize “son” not only to mean generation, but association. In eternity, Jesus was not associated with God the Father in the sense of birth, but as a member of the Godhead.
Believers interpret this in light of these Bible passages:
“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh ...” I Timothy 3: 16.
“In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily ...” Colossians 2: 9.
I can almost hear people exclaim, “That would take a miracle!”
Yep! That is the point. That is what and why Christians celebrate.
They base their belief on what they believe to be approximately 300 Old Testament prophecies regarding His conception, birth, life, death and resurrection.
Peter Stoner in his book, Science Speaks, calculates the probability of coincidental fulfillment of just eight prophecies coming true in one life after 732 years to be one to one hundred quadrillion, that is, 10 to the 17th power, that being, 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000.
Some skeptics say Jesus knew the prophecies and faked them. There was no way He could have faked the time and place of His birth.
Some reject this logic and resultantly the celebration of Christ’s birth. Believers respect them and simply ask that you allow the celebration of their commemoration of His birth. Millions worldwide believe and celebrate it.
Surveys show 85 percent of Americans believe Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate, was divine. Ninety percent of the homes celebrate Christmas.
I have been in Bethlehem, the city of His birth, on Christmas Eve and seen the teeming masses that come from all over the world to honor Him.
I have been in the cave in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve where tradition says Christ was born. It is inspiring to kneel there and think:
“Here, right here, the Word became flesh and came and dwelt among us.”
Lamentably, some professed followers dishonor and/or disgrace His name as did some of His disciples for a moment, but He still stands out on history’s horizon like Mt. Everest on a Florida beach.
There are volumes of supportive reasoning why Christ’s devotees follow Him.
Hopefully, this cursory insight will enable persons who do not follow Him to understand why there is such loyalty resulting in the grand celebration of His birth.
Members of the faith community invite all to share in and enjoy a very Merry Christmas!
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.