Holiday Observance Is It accurate?


#1

I am a Catholic and I have a friend who goes to the Church of God - Seventh Day. They do not celebrate Christmas or Easter partly because of conflict with the actual dates. (they celebrate the resurrection but more in time with passover instead of the mainstream date) I was wondering if there was any relevance to December 25 being the birthdate of Christ or if that day was just chosen?


#2

We have no definite date for the birth of Jesus; we aren’t even sure of the exact year. However, there are some clues from Scripture. The Shepherds are out on the hills looking after sheep which would suggest a summer date. Pastoral societies all around the Meditterannean practised ‘Transhumanence’ pastoral patterns. That is to say that in the winter you bring the sheep and goats down into the valleys and around the homesteads; in the spring you drive them up to the lush pasture of the hills and mountains. In the Autumn you bring 'em back down to market. This pattern is still recognisable in, Spain, France, Austria, Italy, even UK.

However, when discussing Nativity liturgy and worship then it wasn’t really a big thing. THE BIG and important festival of Christianity was and is Easter. Easter is the most important feast of the church for obvious reasons. It was only after about the 6th century that Christmas ( Christ’s [birth] Mass) became an important festival. For the early church Epiphany was of more importance - when the Magi/Gentiles were first presented to the baby Jesus. Christmas wasn’t even thought of

As to our date of 25th December; it is a date closest to the turn of the year, the shortest day of the year (21 December), when there were many pagan festivals to do with light and dark. If we read St. John’s Gospel then we are immediately aware of the typology of Jesus the Christ as the light of the world and so the Christian Church began to take 0ver these festivals for Christianity. Christ, the light of the world has come into the world (the Incarnation) to bring light out of the (pagan) darkness.


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