Christmas is not my favourite time of year, because of various things. My childhood Christmases were not the wonderful magic that the media claims is our right. Rather my mother died on Christmas day when I was not quite five, and every following Christmas my father got blind drunk as he recalled the event.
Now mostly because Christmas is rammed down our throats by the media, from October on, and the exhortation to buy, buy, buy just puts me off. In fact it is only within the last few years that I have been able to put aside the anger and antagonism that would rise in me around mid November, and last until after the New Year, when I could put it all away for another year. Also there was a vague guilt, or at least there used to be, about not doing it right, not having the Rockwellian Christmas that I was expected to provide and therefore letting the family down.
I came across this book called "The Case for Christmas" by Lee Strobel last year and I am planning to revisit the posts I made from notes on the book in the next couple of weeks. This is as good a time as any to see what this man had to say about Christmas. Strobel has a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and has written a number of best selling books. Strobel, a skeptic and atheist, consults expert testimony as he seeks to ferret out the truth.
The book jacket says, and I quote exactly: Lots of people view it as a warm, vibrant season when decent people full of the Christmas spirit celebrate what's best about humanity. Yet when you consider the loneliness, sorrow, personal struggles, and broken relationships that haunt this brightest of holidays for so many people, and the consumerism that taints it, you have to wonder: If this is as good as it gets, what's the point?
Maybe there is a point and we've just been missing it. That child born in a cattle shed 2000 odd years ago - what if he really was the Christ of Christmas? If so then the holiday is hollow without him. Social reformer, philosopher, teacher, icon of a deluded religious sect; who was Jesus? If he really was the divine Son of God, as many believe then the evidence should stand up to scrutiny. It should, for instance, furnish convincing answers to the point blank questions of a Yale educated legal journalist. Lee Strobel in his book explores:
- The credibility and accuracy of Jesus' biographies.
- Whether archaeology disproves or corroborates the biblical records.
- Whether Jesus fits the profile of divinity.
- Jewish Messianic prophecy; did Jesus and Jesus alone fulfill it?