Sorry for no blog yesterday, the day got away from me and I am still trying to work out how to not let it happen again. For the purpose of today, I am going to blame the ever shortening days. I was chatting with my mum the other day and talking about how I am fixed on the 21st of December as the turning point in my complaints because after that the days start to get longer. She tried to tell me some nonsense about two weeks of constancy but I am having none of it. I just tried to Google what she was saying and came up with this, and although I completely understand it rationally, somewhere in my psyche there’s the conviction that the 21st is the day. Considering the microscopic difference that will happen in day length I think I am justified. It’s entirely a psychological thing.
I just read one of my favourite blogs, no matter what topic this blog always resonates with me. Maybe because we are doing the same bible readings. Anyway, he raises the point that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th – as far as we know. Since we don’t know exactly when He was born it’s as good a day as any. He talks about the accusation by pagans that Christians hijacked the winter solstice festival and corrects it by saying they actually hijacked the festival of the birth of the unconquered sun (Dies natalis solis invicti) which was the 25th December. I googled again and that theory is debated also but his point is that how or when are unimportant – what matters is why and who.
We celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Accounts of the Nativity are recorded in three Gospels; it was important to know about. No date is given so people would draw from their lives, their experiences and if, like me, the dark got too much then the time when the light conquered the dark would be the perfect time to remember the coming of the One who conquered the dark. The One who is unconcerned by the dark.
Fear of the dark, of what lurks there, is primal. That’s why people began to mark the shortest day so they could encourage the sun to return, that’s why they celebrated the birth of the sun. We celebrate the One who is the Light of the World. The One who promises that if we follow Him we will no longer live in darkness. That light is something we celebrate day after day, new every morning not just once a year. But, being human and concerned with such things, we like to give Jesus a birthday, say ‘this is the day He was born’. Maybe it helps us to see Him as human, maybe it’s just ritual. But it symbolises the Truth that He was born, He did come to earth fully human and fully God. It reminds us of the Truth that God loved us so much He gave us a Saviour. It’s the start of the story of Jesus life that ends in glory.
Today, yesterday and forever Jesus lives and I celebrate that Truth moment by moment.