The traditional date of Christmas, December 25, has more to do with the winter solstice than with biblical data. It gets cold in the Judean hills in December, so that shepherds stay out in the fields at night only in warmer months (Luke 2:8). For critics, these facts bring the whole season into question. Without entering into a full evaluation of the parties and commerce of Christmas, we can at least note that people respond to Christmas in diverse ways. If that is true now, it was even more true at the time of the incarnation. At Jesus’ birth, angels sang, shepherds worshiped, and Mary pondered what everything meant. Later, Simeon and Anna praised God and crossed the temple precincts declaring that the hope of Israel had arrived. At the same time, a group of wise men embarked on a journey to find the newborn child. Sadly, there were far more troubling responses, as we shall see. — Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew & 2, ed. Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Daniel M. Doriani, vol. 1, Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), 27.
I have just completed a series of six Christmas Lessons. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.