December 24, 2020-
Approaching the celebration of the Birth of Christ has always, in my experience, been mainly a time of revelry and the lifting of spirits, in what some regard as the season of death. Yuletide was, prior to the Christianization of western Europe, a similar expression of wonder, at the Creator’s giving us the exquisite night sky at the same time as the daylight shortens. It has likely ever been thus, even when the Celts were living on the Eurasian steppe. Those who headed east, from that same area, have similar rituals to tide them through the winter cold. That there is an accompanying debauchery is unfortunate, and is part of the reason why so many like their worship of God tied up in the fairly tidy box of doctrine.
Jesus was likely born more towards Spring, but why quibble? Christmas and Easter being separated as they are, in different seasons of the calendar, keep the story of God come in the Spirit of the Son in a position of prominence, reminding those who follow the Teachings of Christ that His Presence is eternal. They come as a reminder of His Work, and of the Example that people do well to follow.
There are those, of every Faith, who want their spirituality tied up in a box, questioned by no one and protected from any other creed. Every religion, since the days of Noah, has had its fundamentalists. I admire their fervour, yet the fact that God keeps sending Messengers every 600-1,000 years or so, ought to tell us all something. The Creator, His Messengers, and Their Basic Message, are perfect. Our understanding and interpretations of those Messages, not so much.
The Child Whom God sent, and Who He later sacrificed, doing Himself that from which He spared Abraham, came to teach everyone. Not all listened, and so three Messengers have come, since. Others will follow, a thousand years or so from now, and beyond. That, however, is a story to be told in days, months and years to come. Tonight, and tomorrow, let us ponder in our hearts just what the true gist of Christ’s Message was.