Christians have celebrated the incarnation and nativity of the Lord Jesus on December 25 since at least the early part of the third century—just a few generations removed the days of the Apostles. By 336, when the Philocalian Calendar—one of the earliest documents of the Patriarchal church—was first utilized, Christmas Day was already a venerable and tenured tradition.
Though there is no historical evidence that Christ was actually born on that day—indeed, whatever evidence there is points to altogether different occasions—the conversion of the old Pagan tribes of Europe left a gaping void where the ancient winter cult festivals were once held. It was both culturally convenient and evangelically expedient to exchange the one for the other.
And so joy replaced desperation. Celebration replaced propitiation. Christmas Feasts replaced new Moon sacrifices. Christ replaced Baal, Molech, Apollo, and Thor. The Gospel conversion brought transformation to cultures and kingdoms as well as hearts and souls.
His blessings flow as far as the curse is found. Glad tidings of great joy, indeed.
Thursday, December 24
O Lord, You are our Savior and Redeemer, our Hope, and the Captain of our Salvation.
You are called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
You are our Advocate, the Almighty God, the Alpha and Omega, the Ancient of Days, the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, and the Great Amen.
You are the Only Begotten of the Father, the Beloved Son of God, the Bright and Morning Star. You are the Chief Cornerstone, the Chosen of God, the Consolation of Israel, and the Creator of All Things.
You are Emmanuel, God with us, the Christ.
You are the End of the Law, the Eternal Judge of Quick and Dead, the Faithful and True, the Firstborn of the Dead.
You are Good Shepherd and the Great I AM.
You are the Head of the Body and the Heir of All Things.
Of You the angels exult, Holy, Holy, Holy. You are the very Image of God.
You are Jehovah, the King of Kings, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the Lord of Hosts, the Light of the World, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible.
You are our Mediator and our Messiah.
You are our Passover the Propitiation for Sins of Whole World.
You are the Resurrection and the Life, the Root of Jesse, the Stone of Offense, Rock of Refuge, the Seed of Abraham, the Once and for All Sacrifice.
You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
You are the Rose of Sharon, the Balm of Gilead, the True Vine, the Living Water, the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Word of Life.
You are Jesus.
And you are worthy of all praise and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.