My family and I have been greatly blessed by the recollection of the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, as have thousands of others around the world. It has become common amongst people of this awareness to ignore Christmas and adopt Hanukkah. This often prompts a quizzical look from folks puzzled by non-Jews celebrating God’s acts among and for the Jewish people. I understand the reaction, but note that Christmas also marks God’s actions among the Jewish people. Indeed, it is not till what we celebrate with Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi to honor the child King, that Gentiles enter the Christmas picture.
In fact, I would like to remind people of my persuasion that the most biblical and the most Jewish thing we can do is honor miraculous acts of God by marking a holiday to remember and celebrate God’s actions. We recall God’s saving power through Esther with Purim, we recall God’s saving power through the Maccabees with Hanukkah, how could we not recall when God came into the world to save all mankind? Of course, we should mark Hanukkah, but if we ignore Christmas, we make the same mistake that first the Sadducees and then the Pharisees made. The Sadducees ignored God’s continued revelation considering only the Torah scripture; the Pharisees ignored God’s continued revelation, rejecting the words and acts of Messiah and His apostles; let us not ignore what the Apostolic Scriptures record, but follow in the footsteps of our spiritual forefathers and celebrate the exercise of God’s strong right Hand.
But Christmas has been corrupted and commercialized, you say? All the more reason that those who have been redeemed should live redemptive lives. Shall we abandon the rainbow to the world’s machinations? Shall we abandon the memorial of God having appeared in the flesh to Satan’s twisting?
But it wasn’t on December 25, you say? Well, actually, the best scholarship is increasingly indicating that yes, in fact, it is most likely that Dec 25 was the date of Messiah’s birth, 9 months after his conception during Passover. (c.f., http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/…)
As for me and my house, we will remember both Hanukkah and Christmas!