When Christmas displays go up before Halloween displays come down, I long for the days when people didn’t think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. However, there may be a legitimate reason to celebrate Christmas in October.
No one knows the exact day when Jesus was born, but December 25 is unlikely. His birth may have been in autumn, when the weather was still warm enough for shepherds to be outdoors with their flocks. We know that Jesus was crucified on Passover, and that the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost. So some scholars have reasoned that Jesus’ birth may have occurred on another Jewish holiday, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.
Although we cannot know for sure, we do know that it would be in keeping with God’s way of working to send His Son—the Word made flesh who “dwelt” (“tabernacled”) among us (John 1:14)—on the Feast of Tabernacles. Sukkot was a time when observant Jews lived in temporary dwellings and listened to the Word of the Lord being read (Deut. 31:10-13).
For Jews, Sukkot is “the time of our rejoicing.” For all of us, our time of rejoicing is the birth of Christ, who brings the joy of salvation to all the world.
Tidings, glad tidings! God is love,
To man He sends His salvation!
His Son beloved, His only Son,
The work of mercy hath begun. —Montgomery
The date of Christ’s birth may be debatable, but the fact of His life is indisputable.