Hi, I'm Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christmas. You know, even when I was an atheist, I loved the Christmas season, because I managed to focus on all the superficial trappings of the holiday instead of the spiritual dimension. I mean, what's not to like about Christmas? You’ve got gift-giving. You've got holiday parties. You get cards from relatives and friends. And I was like anybody else. I love sitting by the warm fireplace sipping on some hot chocolate—or back in those days, probably something a little more potent—and enjoying time with family and relatives and friends.
I think lots of people like me just enjoy the sentimental side of the season. In fact, many of my atheist buddies would rank the Christmas season as one of their favorite times of the year.
But after my wife, Leslie, became a Christian and I started to investigate the identity of Jesus, I began to probe into the real meaning of those nativity scenes that I'd see outside of churches.
I wanted to separate the holiday from the holy day, the facts from the fantasy, the truth from the tradition, and get down to the historic bedrock of what Christmas is all about. What I found thoroughly fascinated me. I mean, I expected to discover that Christmas is built on flimsy legends that developed in the many decades after Jesus lived. I thought the virgin birth would be exposed as some sort of fanciful idea that was plagiarized from earlier mythology.
I didn't anticipate that the opposite would happen, that a thorough investigation of the ancient history would validate the Christmas narrative, because it's based on reliable sources that are too immediate to be written off as being mere legend or make believe.
I'd like to share some of what I learned with you.
And so I invite you to join me in The Case for Christmas Online Bible Study, getting started in just a few days at Study Gateway (Studygateway.com/advent)
In this four-week experience, we set aside Santa Claus and Christmas trees and delve instead into the question of what we can really know with confidence about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It's a journey that I'm convinced will stimulate your mind. It will warm your heart. It will satisfy your soul. And forever, I believe, it will change the way that you celebrate Christmas. It is, after all, the greatest story of history. And as you know, the greatest stories of history are the ones that turn out to be true.
Because it's true, Christmas cannot be ignored. In the end, the child in the manger deserves our allegiance, and He deserves our worship.
If you haven't invited Jesus into your life or if you haven't turned over your worries or your problems to Him, then I hope that, by the end of this study, that you will. Believe me. That would make this the best Christmas of all. ~ Lee