Why Christmas?

Why Christmas?
Why Christmas?

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate Deity.  We celebrate it on December 25th, not because it is his real birthday.  We celebrate it today the same way the British celebrate the Queen’s birthday in June and Mother’s Day is in May.  It’s a good day to do it.  Why our ancestors picked the dead of winter, I don’t know.  If you don’t like the dead of winter, move to Sidney.  It is summer there.   They even got the year wrong.  Jesus was some between four to six years old in the year one.

But since then no one associated with western or modern civilization has been able to avoid the question of who is Jesus? And what does the incarnation mean?  Even atheists deal with the question by denying the existence of the supernatural.

What does God Incarnate Deity mean?  Why does God apparently care so much for a funny species on a small planet?  Just some thoughts from our ancestors:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness …” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them.  God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.





One response to “Why Christmas?”

  1. Dani Renan Avatar
    Dani Renan

    Merry Christmas!
    Frölich Weihnachten
    Joyeux Nöel
    Brih’a yoma d`yalda (Assyrian Aramaic)

    In response to your first questions you posted: Why our ancestors picked the dead of winter, They even got the year wrong.

    We don’t even know if the original Christians celebrated Jesus’ birth. It was the Resurrection that was the central tenet. When they started celebrating, it was probably in the spring, as hinted that “the shepherds were in the field”. But that might have been just the correlation of Jesus to age of Pisces (And that probably came with the Magi, since the Jews didn’t believe or follow astrology – Remember Herod’s wise men had no idea what the Magi were referring to).

    So why Dec 25? It was the winter solstice, and celebrated in most cultures. And everyone lit candles to ward of the shortening of the day and the elongation of night. (Hey, it worked, are you going to fool with that?) It was big celebration for those with solar calendars, especially the Zoroastrians (Iran) Shab-e Yalda (celebrating the birth of Mithra) and Romans – Satrunella). But even the Jews celebrated Hanukkah on the 25 of Kislev (the wither month usually containing the solstice)

    The best argument for the year Jesus was born was given by some astronomers in the Chabot planetarium years ago. The said that Jesus was born shortly before Herod the Great died. The best information is from Josephus that it was right after an earthquake and an eclipse. The only time the two coincided was 2 BC. So it sort of fits.

    The interesting thing was that the Star of Bethlehem, was not over the city, but actually not viable. The Magi, who were from Iran (maybe lived in Mesopotamia) said they saw a “Star in the East”. That would place it over China, not over Israel which is west of Iran. So what was the star? But being astrologers, it was something with astrological significance, and in 2 BC apparently there was a conjunction of three stars that they had been following following for over a year.

    “In 3–2 BC, there was a series of seven conjunctions, including three between Jupiter and Regulus and a strikingly close conjunction between Jupiter and Venus near Regulus on June 17, 2 BC. ” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_Bethlehem). That was the planets (called the wandering stars (and still is in Hebrew) as opposed to fixed stars) in retrograde. In the lecture I heard it was Saturn not Jupiter.

    And the significance is Regulus is the star signifying kingship, Saturn the Jews, and Venus birth… so when they came together, signified the kIng of the Jews was born.

    On the other hand –
    According to archaeologist and Assyriologist Simo Parpola, the most probable candidate for the “star” mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew (the word star being used in its astrological connotation, a portent associated with a heavenly configuration, as in the phrase “his star is rising”) was the aforementioned rare triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces that occurred in the year 7 BCE, which for the astrologers of the time would have signaled the birth of a new King of the Jews that Herod was supposedly so worried about.

    According to Parpola, in the Babylonian system of astrology Jupiter represented the supreme God of the universe, Saturn was the “Steady One,” and the constellation of Pisces was associated with the god of wisdom, life, and creation, as well as being associated with the Jewish people. When this “star” was seen “in the East” (Babylonia/Persia, the center of astrology at the time, to the east of Israel/Judea), Rome’s authority in the Middle East was not yet well-established, and the Jews were looking for a leader to throw off the Roman occupation. Parpola contends that the Babylonian astrological interpretation of the triple conjunction would have been “the end of the old world order and the birth of a new king chosen by God.” Support for this theory can be found in the fact that early Christians used the astrological symbol for Pisces (Ichthys, the fish), the constellation where the triple conjunction occurred, as a symbol for Jesus and of their new religion, and as the symbol of the fruition of the so-called acrostic prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_Bethlehem).

    Although there is a 5 year difference both sort of make sense, so as you choose. But either makes more sense than the Magi seeing a star in the east and then heading west.

    I think that Pisces is a little more significant in that the astrologers saw a change of the ages from Aries to Pisces, and that change was significant. Two thousand years earlier the change from the Age of Taurus to Aries has shown up in mythology all over the world. The death of the bull, the Minator, and the fall of the Minoan culture, even the identity of God as the Bull of heaven in Gilgamesh, and it’s replacement with the ram as the sacrifice.

    The identity of Jesus with the fish, and using (Ichtys) as an acronym “Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ”, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior” was a post hoc adaptation to the Pieces. The “minim” (sectarians – the early Jews of the Jesus movement) used the symbol of fish (usually with bread), and did not speak Greek. (The loves and fish were a easy symbol of the miracles). Also remember that many of the Disciples and earlier followers were fishermen, and lived near the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), the center of Jesus’ ministry.

    Dani Renan