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Christmas in July?

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A young woman (of unknown hair colour) goes to an office for a job interview. The interviewer decides to start with the basics. “So, miss, can you tell us your age, please?” The young woman (of unknown hair colour) counts carefully on her fingers for a few seconds before replying “25!”. The interviewer tries another straightforward one to break the ice. “And can you tell us your height, please?”  The young woman (of unknown hair colour) stands up and produces a measuring tape from her handbag. She then traps one end under her foot and extends the tape to the top of her head. She checks the measurement and announces, “Five foot three!” This isn’t looking good so the interviewer goes for the real basic. “And just to confirm for our records, your name, please?” The young woman (of unknown hair colour) bobs her head from side-to-side, mouthing something silently to herself, before replying “Stephanie”. The interviewer is completely baffled at this stage, so he asks “Just out of curiosity, Miss, I can understand your counting on your fingers to work out your age, and the measuring tape for your height is obvious, but what were you doing when we asked you your name?” “O that!” replies  the young woman (of unknown hair colour), “That’s just me running through ‘Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear…’”

One of the real debates among biblicists is the actual time of the year that Jesus Christ was born.

On one side are scholars adamant that “Jesus was born in the middle of summer.”  On the other side are  scholars adamant that “Jesus was born in the dead of winter.”  Who’s right?  Both are!  Here’s why  (understanding that the Jewish calendar doesn’t exactly match up to ours).  King David of Israel was a great organizer.  And when David came to the throne, he used those organizational skills in many places, including the temple.  The Bible tells us he divided the sons of Aaron into 24 courses, with each group serving at the temple for one week every six months, i.e. twice a year.  Lots were then drawn to determine each priest’s particular week of service.  Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was of the course of Abia, which served during the eighth week of the two twenty-four week cycles.  And it was from the time of Zacharias being told by the angel that his wife would conceive, the math is done for the birth months of both John and Jesus.  But now here’s the question – When the angel appeared to Zacharias, in which of the two six-month courses was it?  If it was in the first twenty-four week cycle, then Jesus was born in the dead of winter.  However, if it was in the second twenty-four week cycle, then Jesus was born in the middle of summer.  The truth is, the Bible doesn’t tell us which one it was – so biblically it can be either.  Today, Christmas in July is becoming more common.  In the southern hemisphere July is their wintertime, so the cold climate is ideal for celebrating.  In the northern hemisphere July is a slow sales period, so it’s used to get people to start their Christmas shopping earlier.  And in July, the Hallmark Channel plays non-stop Christmas movies.  As well, there are families who like to get together for Christmas in July because there are no winter storms to deal with travel-wise.  It is also a long stretch after July before another holiday.  And biblically, there’s no reason why Christmas couldn’t be in July.  So, just in case it is, Merry Christmas!