21st December 2011

Jesus’ Official Birthday

“…Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
Luke 2:14 (NIV UK)

Queen Elizabeth II, Head of State of the United Kingdom, was born on 21st April 1926. However, her birthday is not officially observed on that day. Instead, she has an “official birthday” that is usually observed in June.

There is no particular ceremony on the Queen’s actual birthday, although those in the vicinity of Hyde Park or the Tower of London would hear the 41 and 62 gun salutes that are discharged on that day.

All of the major events and ceremonies take place on the official birthday date that is set by the government to the most convenient time in the summer.

No one knows the exact date of Jesus’ birthday. Some have tried to establish a likely date in the autumn of the year, using indications from the Bible. Others think that a December date is quite possible. Some astronomers have recently announced that Jesus was born in June. There is no generally accepted date for Jesus’ birth.

If we want to honour and celebrate this greatest of events, the Incarnation of God, we will have to do as is done for the Queen, and celebrate an “official” birthday. This year, as it has been for many hundreds of years, Jesus’ official birthday is on December 25.

We can celebrate this official birthday, not with firing artillery, but with honouring and praising God for giving us His Son to be God with us. We can share the wonderful gospel message with our fellow human beings, sharing the love that God has given us.

Jesus’ birth is good news that causes great joy for everyone, even if they don’t know it yet. Even more good news is that Jesus is coming again in glory to restore all things. What great events we have to celebrate.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord, we give you worship and thanks for your overwhelming love. Help us to celebrate the coming of Christ, and look forward to his return. We praise you in his name.

Study by Jim Robertson

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