December 20, 2004 ©Homer
Commentary – From the Margins
'Twas the Night before Christmas
And all through the houses of Israel, not a stirring of righteousness was hung on the tree where the bobbles of Babylon dangled as bright mirrors of uncertainty.
The commandments of God are the mirrors that reflect the root of righteousness onto which wild olive branches have been grafted, these wild branches still bearing wild fruit as is the way of nature. These wild branches replaced the broken off natural branches so long ago that they have forgotten why it was the natural branches were rejected. The prophet Isaiah, citing God, writes to the house of Judah, '"I cannot endure iniquity [lawlessness] and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them'" (Isa 1:13–14). The prophet Amos, citing God, writes to the house of Israel, "'I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies'" (Amos 5:21). So to both houses of the holy nation of Israel, God unequivocally states that He hates their Sabbaths, new moons, and appointed feast days. God doesn't hate His Sabbaths as evidenced by the Apostle Paul keeping them, and even decades later, commanding the saints at Corinth to keep the Passover as Jesus set the example. But both houses of the holy, physically circumcised nation were rejected, partially at least for coupling iniquity to the Sabbaths of God, thereby transforming God's Sabbaths into solemn assemblies that were of the people's construction.
The spiritually circumcised holy nation of God has, in a manner analogous to how the physical nation polluted the Sabbath, transformed the Sabbath of God into the busiest shopping day of the week. Then this holy nation inadvertently coupled an orgy of merchandising to the probable date for the conception of Jesus of Nazareth, thus elevating greed beyond heights to which only kings aspired in former centuries. This holy nation would now like to reclaim Christmas for Christ Jesus. It has become apparent that holly wreaths and manicured evergreen trees have replaced the root of righteousness, pruned back to mostly good intentions stored in sand and straw with the carrots and parsnips.
No argument from Holy Writ will support Jesus of Nazareth being born on or near December 25th. Rather, Jesus was born in the fall of the year, on or about the first day [the high day] of the Feast of Booths. His three and a half year ministry began thirty years later and concluded with Him being the Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb chosen appropriate to the size of the household of God. Therefore, the conclusion of a three and a half year ministry requires that ministry to begin in the fall of the year. Jesus began doing the work of a priest at the age when a Levite could do temple service; He began doing the work of a priest in the fall of the year. So working backwards, a nine-month gestation would place Jesus' conception near the winter solstice, when the sun that cloaks the holy nation of God (Rev 12:1) makes its return. (This is not said to advocate or justify sun worship, an abomination borrowed from Gentiles by the circumcised nation of Israel.) And Dr. E. W. Bullinger's scholarship seems to support this simple argument for Jesus being born during the Feast of Booths.
Therefore, since there is no placement of a Sabbath of God on or near the winter solstice, and since there is an annual solemn assembly [the Wave Sheaf Offering] placed on the day of Jesus' Ascension, the justifiable conclusion can be drawn that God doesn't intend for Israel to celebrate Jesus' conception, but rather, intends that Israel celebrates Jesus' Ascension. Christmas is, then, a celebration of the spiritually circumcised nation of God that benefits Wal*Mart more than it honors Christ Jesus. As such, it has become one of your solemn assemblies that God hates.
A disciple can choose to keep Christmas, and to minimize the disciple's participation in the merchandising of Christ, but this disciple walks a very narrow line that allows for no missteps. And missteps will occur, for the holiday is not of God but of man. Parents will teach children to expect gifts, not to give gifts. Because giving is expected, quantity rather than quality will decide purchases. The old fashioned Christmas celebrations of German immigrants are now packaged by historical sites, ever anxious for another money-making opportunity. So good sense and spiritual wisdom will have disciples shunning all celebration of Christmas; for on this day, spiritual Babylon has transformed God into a gift-wrapped commodity placed beneath an artificially lit tree. God certainly has cause to hate this solemn assembly of spiritual Israel.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."