I wonder how many pastors or parishioners understand the history of Christmas. From the time of Jesus’ death, the birth never had the same significance as Easter until the 1400s. It didn’t become a liturgical celebration until around 333 because the Holy Roman Empire needed to deal with the pagan solstice. What better way than taking a pagan festival and “Christianizing” it. Yes, we have done that often, it works.
For the early followers of Jesus, it was not an event that was a big deal; we only have Matthew and Luke give accounts of the event, primarily for the understanding of the genealogy for their audience.
I am sure many today would say Christmas is a pagan holiday in our world; then again, maybe we just returned to our Holy Roman Empire roots.
Ever wonder what Christianity would be like today if Christianity did not experience the re-make by the Holy Roman Empire and most especially the recreation of Christianity during the middle ages?
I enjoy the season of Christmas as much as the next person, it is the celebration of the Incarnation, and that in itself has meaning. It is a time for gathering with family and friends, but so is Thanksgiving, well, when we think about it, this season of gathering seems to start on the eve of All Saints and ends with the New Year.
I am sure if we moved the celebration of the incarnation to a different month, we would still continue to celebrate “winter wonderland” or whatever starting in late October continuing through November and during the month of December and use it to reflect on the past and look forward to days of more sunlight to come, and new beginnings. Maybe, just maybe all of this is just about being human beings, and our need to be human with humans. To celebrate, to cry, to sing, to gather as humans for the greater good or what we may perceive to be the good tidings of being human. Then again that was the purpose of the incarnation, to bring good tidings to humans.