Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas thoughts

by Stephanie Osborn

(Reposted from Christmas 2012)

It's Christmas week, and my family and I will be celebrating it together, as we have ever since I can remember. Each Christmas Eve night, my father gets down his Bible and reads the Christmas passage from either Luke or Matthew. It's a tradition in my family, and a very special time. This is, after all, what Christmas means - the word derives from "Christ Mass." Yes, yes, I know that it's celebrated at the time of the winter solstice, and I know that many of our customs and traditions have their origins in pagan festivals of the season. I know that Jesus almost certainly wasn't born at this time of the year.

But it turns out that one theory may be able to place the arrival of the Magi at this season, during the Jewish celebration of Chanukah, no less. And one of the passages I mentioned provides data from that theory. And so I thought that I'd share my family custom with you by "reading" that passage with you.

* * *


Matthew 2

King James Version (KJV)
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
* * *

To my family, my friends, and my fans, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, God Jul. Peace on Earth, and goodwill to men.

-Stephanie Osborn
(Christmas Day 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment