I think it is safe to say that one of the most celebrated days of the year in our country is Christmas. It is such a popular holiday that often those not of the Christian faith participate in the festivities. It is also safe to say that this day is widely celebrated around the world, even in cultures that are not Christian in culture or persuasion, such as Japan and China. They too call it “Christmas”.
Despite the widespread recognition of this holiday, Christians the world over lament how commercialized Christmas has become and how convoluted the reason and meaning. We see signs hanging in department stores that say “remember the reason for the season”, but it seems the author of this Yule-time slogan had customer spending in mind rather than something spiritual.
There are myriad examples we could site regarding the world’s commercialization of this sacred Christian holiday and the loss of festive understanding, but too often we Christians come up short ourselves in this theological arena. As our Lord said, sometimes we need to remove the beam from our own eye.
How much do you really know about Christmas? How much of what you think about Christmas is Bible and how much is world? Could you pass the following quiz on this topic? Test your knowledge. There are no trick questions, but you might be surprised by some of the answers. Score 5 points for each correct answer. I will leave it up to you to decide whether you passed or not. The answers are at the end of the quiz.
1. Christmas (the day Jesus was born) probably actually occurred on:
a. December 25th c. April 1st
b. March 29th d. We do not know
2. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
a. 2 c. 1
b. a multitude d. it cannot be determined
3. A manger is:
a. a feeding trough c. a stable
b. a barn d. a room behind an Inn
4. Where was Joseph’s family from?
a. Bethlehem c. Jerusalem
b. Nazareth d. Galilee
5. How were the shepherds to find and recognize the Lord?
a. by following a star c. by looking for a babe in a manger
b. by asking at the Inn d. by looking for the Magi
6. How many wise men came to see Jesus in the manger?
a. two c. three
b. the Bible doesn’t say d. none
7. How did Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem?
a. walked c. Joseph walked/Mary rode a donkey
b. by cart d. The Bible doesn’t say
8. When Mary was found to be with child, she and Joseph were:
a. married c. engaged
b. companions d. The Bible does not say
9. Who told Joseph what to name the baby?
a. Mary c. God
b. An angel d. Jewish elders
10. Where did the wise men find Jesus?
a. In the manger c. In the field
b. On a donkey with Mary d. In a house
11. Who saw the star over Bethlehem?
a. Joseph and Mary c. The three kings
b. The shepherds d. Everyone
e. None of the above
12. The Innkeeper told Joseph:
a. There is no room c. You can use the stable out back
b. We don’t allow children d. None of the above
13. Who told Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
a. an angel c. The tax collector
b. Herod d. Caesar
14. What is meant by “heavenly host”?
a. an arch angel c. an army of angels
b. greeting angels d. an angelic choir or herald
15. What song did the heavenly host sing?
a. “Away in a Manger” c. “Glory to God in the Highest”
b. “Joy to the World” d. They did not sing
16. What animals were present at the birth of Jesus?
a. cows and sheep c. cows, sheep and camels
b. cows, sheep and donkeys d. unknown
17. What is the most accurate definition for “Magi”?
a. Magicians c. Astrologers
b. Wise men d. Eastern kings
18. Why did Herod want to know when Jesus was found?
a. So he could worship him c. So he could kill him
b. So he could tell others d. None of the above
19. How long was the trip for the wise men after they saw Herod?
a. Two years c. A little less than two years
c. Less than 1 day d. None of the above
20. How many shepherds were there in the field?
a. 3 c. 6
b. 4 d. We are not told
ANSWERS TO QUIZ
1. d 11. e (3 kings are not mentioned – all the wise men saw the star)
2. c 12. d (no mention of the Inn Keeper is made)
3. a 13. d (see Luke 2:1-3)
4. a 14. c
5. c 15. d (we are told “a heavenly host saying”)
6. d* 16. d (the Bible does not say what animals were present)
7. d 17. c
8 . c 18. c
9. b 19. c (Herod had all the male children under 2 put to death)
10. d 20. d
*6 – the Bible says they saw the young child in the house – they were not
present at the manger – and no mention is made as to how many Magi
there were – we often assume there were three because there were three
gifts presented, but there were probably many, many mor