My Holiday Series Part 1: the True Time of Year of the Birth of Jesus
My Holiday Series part 1: The Birth of Jesus Christ Foretold
(Luke chapter 1, verses 26–56)
Minister Paul J. Bern
Today, as the beginning of my holiday series on the birth of Jesus, we will take up the Gospel of Luke and the true Christmas story. As we begin, the birth of John the Baptist, Jesus’ predecessor, has just been foretold, and the Temple priest Zechariah has been rendered mute by the archangel Gabriel for hesitating to believe what Gabriel said about Zechariah and Elizabeth conceiving a child. This was because Zechariah thought they were both too old. So, while Zechariah and Elizabeth were coping with his inability to speak, we find the archangel Gabriel busy visiting the future mother of our Lord and Savior. So let us all get started beginning at verse 26 of chapter one.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a woman pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said. ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How can this be’, Mary asked, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant’, Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said’. Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1, verses 26–38)
The 4,000 year old Hebrew calendar is considerably different from the one we use today. Although there are similarities, the Hebrew New Year starts in our month of March, and there are usually 30 days in each month. So we can conclude that Gabriel’s visit to Mary was sometime in September, although I can only…