The Christmas holiday is so steeped into our society that millions of people, even those who have no use for God or His Christ, do it and celebrate it. Two of the Gospels give very detailed accounts of Jesus's birth, yet they both leave out an important detail about Christ's birth – When. We can find other dates in the Bible – the flood, the destruction of the temple – but we will never find the precise date of Jesus's birth given. Those who study such things will tell you that the scriptural clues point to Christ's birth in the fall of the year around the time of God's fall Holy Days, see Leviticus 23.

Nowhere in the Gospels or the writings of the New Testament will you find the apostles or the Church celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus. It was not until mid 300 AD that man started putting an artificial date to Christ's birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NKJV) says “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth.” So important was Christ's death and resurrection that all four Gospels lead up to it and give detailed accounts of it. The writings of the apostles continually bring us back to the importance of His death and resurrection. Paul writes that it was through Christ's death, not His birth, that we who were His enemies were reconciled to God and that having been reconciled to God we are saved by Christ's resurrected life See Romans 5:10.

Christmas is a great feel-good holiday. But can we really put Christ back in Christmas when there is nothing in the scripture to say He was ever in it? “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9, NKJV. Since Christmas was not observed as a special day of worship by the early Christians, what days were? The only specials days of worship that the New Testament Church was commanded to observe were the ones listed in Scriptures. The only scripture they had is what we call the Old Testament. To quote 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” They also had the example of Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the letters of Paul. Jesus Christ is seen observing all the Festivals of God from His youth (Luke 2:41-42). In fact John, in writing the gospel account, used the annual Holy Days as an outline as he wrote about the ministry of Christ. Paul scheduled His travels around the annual Holy Days, even commanding the gentile converts to observe them (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). Paul in his letter to the Colossians writes that the festivals of God are prophetic whose substance is found in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17). In the Gospel accounts of Jesus's life and the opening chapters of Acts, we see the actual fulfillment of the Spring Holy Days. And in the Book of Revelation, the prophetic fulfillment of the Fall annual Holy Days.

Don't fall for the idea that the annual Holy Days are done away or just Jewish. In Leviticus 23:2, God names them “the Feasts of the Lord,” He tells his people to proclaim them a holy time of meeting and God declares they are “My feasts.”

Since they are God's feasts, and we are God's people, shouldn't we be keeping them?

Wesley Higgins is pastor of Celebration Church of God, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.

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