Except that the date of Christmas is bogus. Theophany (Jan 6th) was originally chosen to celebrate the INCARNATION. It is obvious that the Incarnation took place at the conception not the birth of Jesus. So also the Eastern Orthodox, who invented the holiday, have always believed that the Word descended into Mary's womb and created his own body, meaning they mark the conception as the Incarnation. That means, in their minds, when they made January 6th the Theophany or feast celebrating the Incarnation, they were thinking of it as the day of Jesus' conception. Add 9 months to January, and you don't get December! What happened is that the RCC dropped the festival of the Incarnation (conception) back from Jan 6 to Dec 25 to make it fit in line with Soltice/Saturnalia and also changed it to be the birth rather than conception, and they renamed Theophany to Epiphany changing the meaning from the Incarnation to the presentation of Christ in the temple after the 40 days of Mary's purification (even though there are clearly not 40 days between Dec 25 and Jan 6). In reality, therefore, you can say that it is backwards. If his conception in in the winter then his birth is clearly August/Sept.
following that logic, its still about the cross, but to be accurate we must recognize his conception and not his birth as associated with this season.
Thank you very much for your contributions Beowulf2k8. This kind of thinking, accurate thinking, is helpful but perhaps more so because it reminds me again of how powerful God is. He will make himself known to us by coming to us in a form that we will recognise and so the birth of Christ replaces the winter solstice. Christ dwells in us and changes us from the inside out and so there is a warm hijacking of the things that previously were are centres of worship as he comes to replace our false Gods and idols with his truth. Rob Bell describes in Velvet Elvis how 'The first three miracles in the book of John are directly related to the major gods of Asia Minor...Dionysus was the god who turne water into wine. Asclepius was the god of healing, and Dameter was the goddess of bread...[John] wants these people in this place and this time to know that Jesus is better than their gods.' I believe the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, was acting on a similar foundation when it set Christ's birth at the time of the pagan Winter solstice. Please drop by again.God bless :)Rachel
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