It doesn’t matter if it is a day and a solstice purloined from pagans. Jesus was still born in a stable in Bethlehem. And the shepherds saw the stars flashing in the sky and heard the angels singing the praises to the Son of God.
It doesn’t matter if you think Joseph was fooled by a wanton woman covering her tracks. He was visited by an angel who told him the truth — for God so loved the world that he gave it another chance, His son, Jesus. Who told those in his time what it all meant and why. And who died for our sins, and was raised from death, as we will be.
It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not.
Unless you want eternal life.
Not eternal earthy life either. Not the challenging life on a sin-filled planet, surrounded by those who would make it even more miserable.
No, an eternal life as a whole person, complete in the Holy Spirit, a forgiven sinner, a child of God, clad in the raiment of angels and stars.
That kind of eternal life.
Surrounded by beauty and perfection and those you love. For eternity.
That’s what Christmas heralds.
Remember that when you are tipsy on eggnog and arguing with Uncle Stan about “Let’s Go Brandon.” Remember that when you ring in the New Year, too.
There was no Julian calendar when Jesus was born in the stable. But a few weeks later, three kings from further east found him and honored him. And they never bothered to go back and tell Herod that they’d found him, either. They knew they’d seen the Savior of the World, as a baby, glowing with eternal light, surrounded by hay, and lowing cattle and shuffling sheep.
It’s not hard to remember. But it makes all the difference. Now, and forever.