what should our relationship and view be towards Christmas? As one identifies more with a Messianic Congregation, you begin to realize that we do not observe things quite the same way as our Christian brethren do. Churches put on their Christmas and Easter programs; we put on our Hanukkah and Passover services. Sometimes it can be awkward trying to explain what makes us different. I know at times I feel a bit uncomfortable when I hear Believers say, "what, you don't celebrate Christmas!" "Don't you celebrate the birth of Jesus?" "You mean you don't put up a Christmas tree and give out presents?" We face misunderstanding and opposition for being different.
In this writing, I want to present five truths that I believe represent a balanced view of how to respond to this time of the year, as a Messianic Congregation:
Being involved in a Messianic Congregation can be a unique experience. The scriptures say that we are a peculiar group of people. How many of you enjoy being different? To walk a narrow path is not always popular. Most people would rather conform to their peers or the culture in which they live rather then question why we believe. Dare to be different and you run the risk of being derided.
There are several things that make our Congregation unique from most others. We meet on Saturday rather then on Sunday. We observe all of God's Appointed Feasts and holidays and strive to live a Messianic Jewish lifestyle. We have a Messianic and a liturgical expression to our worship and incorporate the Davidic dance into our worship service. We have a strong emphasis in the public reading of scripture in our Torah service. In terms of outreach, we try and avoid traditional expressions that convey our faith in non-Jewish ways.
Instead of Church we encourage our people to say Congregation or Shul, instead of Jesus Christ, we say Yeshua the Messiah. We call ourselves Messianic Believers instead of Christians. Some of us wear kippot (skullcaps) and prayer shawls.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:
"To the Jew I became as a Jew that I might win the Jew, to those under the law, I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) I have become all things to all people that I may by all means save some."
Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles had a burden to reach his own kinsmen in the flesh. He did not abandon or compromise his Jewish identity while reaching both the Jews and the Gentiles. Neither did Paul stop being Jewish after believing
So also as Messianic Believers, we choose to express our faith in this way because that is what makes the Messianic Vision what it is. It is part of our identity and our culture as a people chosen of God. It is not a facade nor are we trying to play Jewish to deceive the Jewish community.
We are involved in a prophetic and historic movement of God's Spirit in our day. God is raising up Messianic Congregations in this generation to be a witness to both the Jewish and Christian community. We have a part in restoring and rebuilding a Messianic identity into the hearts of God's people both Jewish and non-Jewish Believers. Isaiah 58:12 describes the essence of our vision.
"Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins, and will raise up the age old foundations, you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of paths to dwell in."
There was a breach in the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile. God removed this hostility in the Messiah, and made both Jew and Gentile into one new man. Yet the Church over the centuries has re-erected the wall between Jew and Gentile by alienating the Jewish people from the Jewishness of the Gospel. It takes time to rebuild and repair much of the damage that has been done between Jew and Gentile throughout the centuries. God is in the process of rebuilding and restoring into the hearts of his people an understanding of the Jewish roots of our faith. He is doing a new thing in our day. Psalm 102 tells us that there is a relationship between Israel's restoration and the Messiah's returning in power and glory.
"Arise and have mercy upon Zion for the appointed time to favor her has come
for when the Lord rebuilds Zion He will appear in his glory."
One thing that characterizes the Messianic Judaism is a longing to return to the Biblical foundations and roots of our faith. There is a calling on our lives to return (Teshuva) to the pure and unadulterated word of God.
Shaul said in 1 Thess. 5:21 "Test all things, hold fast to what is good." "Holding fast the word of life, so that we may rejoice in the day of Messiah that we have not run in vain or labored in vain."
1 Peter 2:16 "We have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God that lives and abides forever."
God's word is the solid rock on which we stand, all other ground is sinking sand. How then does all of this relate to the Messianic view of Christmas? Much in every way!
Romans 11 gives us clear teaching on the role of the Jewish and non-Jewish Believer in the body. Shaul is speaking to the Gentile Believer in this chapter. A key phrase to the entire chapter is found in vs. 16.
"If the root be holy so are the branches"
We are called to be a holy people. To come out and be separate from the things of the world. As we look at the traditions and customs that the Christian community have come to accept and observe over the centuries, the obvious question to be asked is; "Are the roots of these traditions, holy or unholy"? We will look at this more closely in the second point, the Biblical view of traditions. Let's first look at the subject of the Messiah's birth. The question is often asked, "When was the Messiah born?" I will attempt to address this issue.
written and / or assembled by Cal Goldberg, Messianic Leader, Beth Shechinah
© 2001, Beth Shechinah, except where copyright otherwise indicated. For permissions to use material from this site, email Messianic Leader,
– Jubilee Year
– The Akeda
Tish B'Av —
The Ninth of Av
The Significance of Passover
- Nancy Scott
Compilation of proven evidence using the Biblical astronomy, Biblical prophecy, historical, and political data to pinpoint the birth of Messiah. The authour of this website has taken this evidence to rabbis and leaders in the orthodox community in Israel, who have deemed the evidence credible.