Happy third day of Christmas! Did you know it was the third day of Christmas? Many people mistakenly think that the 12 Days of Christmas are the 12 days leading up to Christmas. But actually, they are the days between Christmas and Epiphany, which we will celebrate next Sunday. So even though Christmas Day has already come and gone, we are still in the midst of the 12 Days of Christmas. We're still in the middle of the Christmas season, still singing Christmas carols and enjoying the beautiful decorations.
Well, here we are in the week leading up to Christmas. And I don't think I'm going to burst anyone's bubble by telling you that Jesus probably wasn't born on December 25. In fact, most theologians have absolutely no idea when Jesus was actually born. The Christian church decided on the date of December 25 almost 400 years after Jesus died. And they did so because it coincided with a Roman pagan festival called Natalis Solis, which was a celebration of the birth of the SUN. The early Christian church usurped this pagan festival of light, this celebration of the birth of the sun, and they remade it into a religious festival, celebrating the light of the world and the birth of the SON.
We're still waiting to learn who will be announced as Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2020. But you may remember that last year's Person of the Year was Greta Thuneberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist who's inspiring millions of people around the globe to take action against climate change.
Last year at this time, the United Church of Christ produce these yard signs, which we put out in the front of our church last year. The sign reads, "This year, we remember that Jesus was a refugee." And that is the truth. Jesus was a refugee. Though I know a lot of people don't want to hear that, especially this time of year. We want to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas thinking about happier things.