Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Today’s title probably has you thinking about how the Pilgrims or original settlers might have celebrated their first Christmas in the “New World.” That, however, is not where I’m taking you today. Let’s go back about 2000 years!
I have a book, That’s What the Old Ones Say by Chief Joseph Riverwind. It’s a collection of Indian oral histories. Traditionally, a tribe would have someone designated to learn, tell, and pass on their history. Chief Joseph worked with such a man to finally record these oral histories before the tradition dies and the histories are lost.
Chief Joseph is also Christian and has recognized God’s presence in the North American Indian history going back thousands of years. Let’s start with a prophecy of Jesus’ purpose on earth.
This is my favorite account from the book. It is about an old chief who went up on a mountain to fast and pray for his people who were suffering –
“Creator sent a spirit being who hovered in the sky above the old chief…The spirit being moved his arms and with its fingers drew a window in the sky above the old chief.
“’Look through this window, and you will see the answer to your prayers,’ the spirit said with authority.
“The old chief…saw a man who was pierced and hanging on a tree. The spirit said, ‘He is dying so that your people may live.’
“’Wait!,’ the old chief exclaimed. ‘What is His name so that we can remember Him and His sacrifice for our people?’
“’His name is Bright Morning Star. Remember His name.’”
This stunned me when I read it, because I knew that in Revelation 22:16 Jesus said, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
The Cherokee people were also told of Jesus’ birth and death. Here is how their history records them:
“The Oldest Cherokee Story Ever Told. It tells about when a great star appeared in the eastern sky, so the Cherokee gathered near modern day Tallulah Falls (Georgia) and how spirit beings brought the message to the Cherokee that the greatest Holy Man the world had ever seen was born. They brought stories from across the great waters about miracles this great Holy Man performed.
“But one day the sky grew dark, the earth shook, and the spirit beings came across the great waters crying because this great Holy Man had been killed in a cruel and unusual way. Their tears hit the stones and the stones turned into crosses that can still be seen to this day.”
Yes, the first Christmas in North American happened when spirits came to the Cherokee and announced Jesus’ birth!
I highly recommend this book to you! There is so much more in it about North American Indian history and their ancient connection to God and Jesus.