The church has been celebrating Christmas since December 25th 336
Other cultures had winter festivals around this time, The Jews had the festival of Lights - The church took the season over with the celebration of the birth of Christ. No one knows the exact date when Jesus was born, but the church used the last part of the year, the darkest part of the year - to celebrate that the LIGHT has come. It’s around 450 AD that the church introduces Advent to mark the beginning of the church liturgical year. It’s the celebration of Christ’s coming to the world, His coming to the hearts of men.
The 8th century English missionary, St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany, is supposed to have held up the evergreen as a symbol of the everlasting Christ. By the end of the sixteenth century, Christmas trees were common in Germany. Some say Luther cut the first, took it home, and decked it with candles to represent the stars. When the German court came to England, the Christmas tree came with them.
Around the thirteenth century, Christians added one of the most pleasant touches of all to Christmas celebration when they began to sing Christmas carols.
Now before you start thinking - Hey, Jesus never instituted Christmas, why should we celebrate it? Think about this: Hanukkah (also known as the festival of lights) was not instituted by God. It commemorates the victories of Judas Maccabeus in 167 BC and the re-institution of temple worship. Jesus showed up the at the temple during this holiday (John 10:22 called the feast of dedication). He announces that He and the Father are one. God used a holiday that He didn't create that celebrated a deliverer to announce that The Deliverer is HERE. Man created this Holiday, But God brought GLORY. They were celebrating the festival of lights and Jesus - The Light of the World shows up.
Christmas / Advent is a man made holiday that Christ is revealing himself through - If we Celebrate it!!!
John 1: 1-5 Passion Translation
1 In the very beginning the Living Expression was already there. And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God. They were together—face-to-face, in the very beginning. And through his creative inspiration this Living Expression made all things, for nothing has existence apart from him! Life came into being because of him, for his life is light for all humanity. And this Living Expression is the Light that bursts through gloom the Light that darkness could not diminish
John 1:12-14 Passion Translation
But those who embraced him and took hold of his name were given authority to become the children of God! He was not born by the joining of human parents or from natural means, or by a man’s desire, but he was born of God. And so the Living Expression became a man and lived among us! And we gazed upon the splendor of his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father overflowing with tender mercy and truth! He dwelled among us - Immanuel (God With Us) The Word became flesh and made his home among us.
Look at the definition of the Greek word “among”.
Among: 1722 en (a preposition) – properly, in (inside, within); (figuratively) "in the realm (sphere) of," as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within).
John 1:12-14 Mirror
So, the Word (Logos/Logic of God) was made flesh and dwelt among us so that we could experientially know that He dwells WITHIN us! He has made us his address!
Acts 17:28 NLT
For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
The Beloved Son, stepped out of eternity into history to be THE point of meeting, THE point of union, THE connection between the Trinity, on the one side, and humanity on the other. The Son became human to be THE place where the life of the Trinity intersects with and flows into human existence, and human existence is taken up into the life of the Trinity, now and forever.
The Great Dance
By C. Baxter Kruger
The Word, the expression of God, the exact representation of God became flesh! This was no half-hearted attempt by which God simply disguised Himself in a human body. This was a permanent commitment by which God forever joined Himself to humanity –
His eternal destiny bound up in the destiny of man.
He became man in the fullest sense possible.
The authentic Creator, the true light that enlightens every man came into this world.
His mission was nothing less than shattering our illusions, exposing the unreal, unoriginal and fake identity that we embraced outside of Him.
He came with the clear message to darkness that it’s time was up.
Darkness has had all the opportunity it needed and failed to fulfill man, failed to provide a viable alternative.
The incarnation reveals that our true selves, our true humanity can only be found in union with God.
Jesus brings the final and thorough judgement that the law failed to bring: judgement on the ignorance and lies that man so desperately embraced.
The emptiness and futility of separation is exposed by Christ.
Simultaneously He introduces us to our true substance, to our existence in Him.
The Creator became part of creation to redeem it from the grasp of corruption.
In the incarnation He draws His creation back into the significance and value for which He created it.
He reveals our true significance, our eternal origin and destiny in Him.
There’s a reason why Jesus continually referred to himself as THE son of man.
Jesus came to unveil the truth of what had always been.
He says it 30 times in Matthew - 31 times in Luke - 16 times in Mark and 15 times in John
Son (hwee-os) - of those whom God esteems as sons, whom he loves, protects and benefits above others
Man (Anth'-ro-pos) - a human being, whether male or female - generically, to include all human individuals
The word for man is mankind. Jesus could just have easily said “I am mankind. I am humanity.”
In the beginning God breathed out of Himself into mankind the breath of life and we became living souls. The Bible says God chose us In Christ before the foundations of the world.
Ephesians 1:3-11 Mirror Translation
He came to unveil the truth of our origin, our genesis in him, our identity, our authentic original blueprint, to show us who we really were. Born from above. In eternal oneness with the Father.
Sharing the same nature as the Father. Resembling his character and essence. Inheriting all that he is and all that he’s already given Us in him before time and space began.
He said: I (mankind) and the Father are one.
We’ve always been in Christ. This is the message of ADVENT - He has come to reveal this to mankind - WE ARE IN HIM!!!
Nothing can separate all of humanity from this truth. It’s bound up in the body of Christ
Nothing can change what is already objectively true from heaven’s perspective.
You possess eternal Zoe life right now.
What do I do with this? How does I even respond to all this revelation?
The good news is that the hard work has already been done for you!
Jesus defeated everything that stood in the way of you being you!
Here’s a simple suggestion to give expression to this faith. Turn your focus inward. Become aware of the One who made you and united Himself with you … within you.
In your own thoughts and words respond … something like:
“Thank you for who You are and what You have done for me. As You gave yourself in love to me, I give myself in love to You. You made me in Your image and likeness. You made me to be loved, Thank You”
This is the Celebration of Christmas. This revelation will jumpstart your heart!
You’ll put as many lights as you can on your house, tree, car - You will want all to see this LIGHT.
You will realize that there is no war on XMAS because you can’t defeat this! You can’t stop it.
Hope is here
At Hope Community Church, we believe that when you see Jesus without the religious baggage you’ll find someone undeniably life-changing and worth following. We hope you see and experience Jesus through these thoughts, videos and messages.