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Showing posts from December, 2009

On Messiah's Birthday

Christmas is a bit too laced in cynicism in our day. In the malls, the old carols celebrating the birth of Messiah have been replaced by ersatz Xmas songs—from Jingle Bell Rock to Blue Christmas. And I can’t even read about White Christmas—one of the nicest of these, without being reminded that it was written by Irving Berlin, a Jew. Of course, he also wrote other religious songs—like Easter Parade. No wonder we’re cynical.

Even among believers, there is widespread cynicism about Christmas—few educated people today think it's the date of Yeshua’s birth. They likely know that the Romans enjoyed their winter solstice—Saturnalia—in December and the 25th hosted two related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman "birth of the unconquered sun"), and Mithras, the Iranian "Sun of Righteousness." It looks like the Christians just took that date for their own festival, especially after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome.

However practical t…