I know it is not Christmas time, but I have to share a Christmas testimony because of something that happened to me last week on Friday. On the night of Friday the 29th of September 2023, I was seated in my living room. I was then overcome by a sudden compelling urge to sing the song “O Holy Night.” I rarely get such strong compulsions in my spirit, and when I do, I often feel unsettled until I attend to them. And that’s what I did. I opened the YouTube app and searched for the song’s rendition by Taya Smith of Hillsong. My wife and kids asked me why I was playing Christmas Carols in September. I told them that I couldn’t shake off the need to worship God using the lyrics of the famous Christmas song. And so I did. I sang and worshipped God for becoming a man and dwelling among us on that Holy night. I also played the Mariah Carey rendition and then had my dinner and slept as I meditated on the words of the song.
Then something happened to me today, one week later, on Friday the 6th of October 2023. On the morning of this day, a friend of mine called Thuku who had lived in Israel for a while came home to visit me. As we were talking and catching up, he said he was compelled to share something with me. He had even put a reminder on his phone, in case he forgot. He told me that the believers in Israel were just concluding their celebrations of the religious Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot. This year, 2023, the Feast of Tabernacles was being celebrated from Friday the 29th of September to Friday the 6th of October. I googled it and confirmed that it was so. For anyone who does not know, The Feast of Tabernacles, in the Old Testament, was one where the people of God dwelled in tents to remember the temporary tents that their forefathers lived in while they were on the exodus from Egypt to the promised land.
My friend, following his burning impression, then proceeded to explain to me how the Feast of Tabernacles is tied to the life of Jesus. He shared that God in the person of Jesus Christ tabernacled with humanity by taking on Himself a temporary human shelter of a male human body. God dwelled with us in the tent of Jesus Christ. I usually love the analogies of the Old Testament with the life of Christ. But that didn’t blow my mind, yet. He then proceeded to say that if you historically look at the real birth of Jesus Christ, you will find that it was around the end of September. I knew this already and affirmed him that the December celebrations of Jesus’ birth are not chronologically accurate. He then added that if Christ was to fulfill the law of Moses, he was most likely born on the evening of the first day of Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles). He also added that when the Jews celebrated Sukkot, they opened up their tents and looked at the stars of heaven. If Christ was born on Sukkot, then the Jews of that time must have also noticed the bright star of his birth.
My friend then told me that the best time to celebrate the actual birth of Jesus would have been on Friday the 29th of September 2023 because this is when Sukkot began this year. He then added that the exact time to celebrate it on they day should be in the evening because that is when the Jews began their celebrations and it rhymed with the time that Jesus was born, in the evening. All this hit me like a tonne of bricks because on that same day and at that same time, I was strongly compelled in my spirit to worship the LORD using the Christmas Carol, “O Holy Night.” I don’t dismiss such coincidences. May the lyrics of the song minister even more deeply as we remember that the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles was God dwelling with us human beings to save us from the power of sin.
O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born