The Meaning of Christmas Part 2
In the Catholic Encyclopedia, page 537, the definition of the word mass is given: the supreme sacrifice…the act of worship of offering a worthy victim to God, the offering made by a proper person, as a priest..the destruction of the victim.
The date: December 25th. Luke 2:8 states “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Tennessee’s weather patterns are the same as Judea’s. I would never want to be out in the field at this time of year sleeping on the ground!! The winter in the Judea area is, at this time of year, characterized as very cold, wet, and rainy-oftentimes snowing. These are not conditions worthy of sheep, much less human beings being outside in the fields without housing to protect them from the weather!! The Jews began to take their cattle and sheep out in March, and brought them back in November, when the rainy season began. If the shepherds brought their sheep in by November, they could not have been “in the fields” with them in end of December!! The first rains occurred around the Jewish month Chesvan, which is our October or November.
The day of the birth of our Master is not recorded in all scripture, it was the day that began His humiliation, not a day to be remembered in glory—the day of His resurrection is the day of His glory and is commemorated every first day of the week by His family. As in every family I know about, the date of birth of some ancestor is NEVER remembered after their life has been surrendered in death, BUT the day of death is. How would it be if one of our ancestors arose to die no more?? Do you not think it more fitting to remember THAT day?? There is no divine sanctity upon the 25th of December; and it is not pleasing to God that anything that concerns the salvation of man through the infinite sacrifice made for them, should be so sadly perverted from its professed design. Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from Him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for Him to come to our world. “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but not commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31
A star cult, sun-worship, became (in the third century A.D.) the dominant official creed, paving the road for the ultimate triumph of Judaeo-Christian monotheism. So strong was the belief in the invincible Sun (Sol invictus) that Constantine 1 (327 A.D.) himself at first a devotee of the sun cult, found it indeed perfectly compatible with his pro-Christian sympathies to authorize his own portrayal as Helios. And in 354 the ascendant Christian church in the reign of his pious and unsavory son, Constantius 11, found it prudent to change the celebration of the birth of Jesus from the traditional date of January 6th to December 25th in the old Julian calendar. The Sun-god’s birthdate was December 25th. Long before the 4th century, and long before the backing of Constantine, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at the precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven, Astarte. She had birthed a son-god resurrected form the dead with a halo around his head that had no father. To conciliate the heathen, and swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving her son the name of Christ.”