Yes! I am not kidding! Christmas indeed falls in the month of July according to the Bible! You may wonder if one can prove it. Yes we can! Here is the proof:
Angel Gabriel visited Mary in the sixth month (Luke 1:26). These months are based on Jewish lunar calendar. The first month of Jewish calendar is Abib or Nisan. Nisan 14th is the Passover, and the 15th is the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened.
This feast is supposed to coincide with the green ears of barley (Exo.9:31), which points to Mid April in our calendar. Since the Jewish follow the Lunar calendar, they fall short 10 days every year. In order to correct it, they observe three years as 12 month period, and every fourth year, they add a 13th month. This adjustment keeps the feast within a 30 day fluctuation. As you notice, the Passover always fluctuates between March 20th and April 25th. I am saying all this to make this point: It is safe to assume that the month of April is the first month for the Jews. Now if you calculate the sixth month, it is the month of October (according to western solar calendar).
Also the angel shared another secret with Mary. Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother) is also in her sixth month of pregnancy! (Luke 1:36). Soon after Gabriel’s visitation, “…Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah……and greeted Elizabeth!” Mary had left town in the sixth month (October according to our calendar). Now comes the real question:
Had Mary already conceived by the Holy Spirit when she met Elizabeth? Yes! Elizabeth says,” Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! (Luke 1:42). Mary’s song also suggests that she is already pregnant (Luke 1:54)
From now on, it is pretty easy to figure out all other details! Mary’s delivery date was sometime in July! Even if I am off by a month, it is very obvious that our Lord Jesus was born during hot sweaty, summer time! The shepherds did not watch their flock by night in the cold winter, nor did the wise men travel during a hazardous wintry weather! How would you like celebrating Christmas with a T shirt, and shorts!
How about composing songs that suggests this steaming hot summer, rather than the blistering cold weather! How about creating beautiful manger scenes that has the summer scenery? How about celebrating Christmas in July and focus on lifting up Jesus alone without any commercialism? Here is a perfect opportunity to move away from the cold, freezing, dampened, commercialized Christmas, and switch to a festive month of hot summer day to celebrate our Lord’s Birthday in its absolute purity!
We can gather together in July and celebrate a real meaningful Christmas without an ounce of commercialism. Shock your neighbors by lighting up your house, and setting up a green manger scene!
|Pastor's Column - Christmas in July
by Rev. Daniel Israel