Solstice, Calendars, and what we Celebrate

Deuteronomy 4:19 And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

It is January 1st, and I don’t have a new wall calendar. I don’t think I’m getting one this year, because I didn’t really use it the last couple of years. It just hung on the wall as a decoration more than anything. Everything I needed to remember was on my phone, or my Facebook, and it was more convenient to page through the calendar on the computer screen than on the wall. I don’t consider it a moral failing to use the computer, nor old fashioned to use the paper calendar – I am only concerned with actually remembering the things I need to remember.

This reminds me of a statement I heard several times over the Christmas season. “Christmas is only on December 25th because of Solstice – it isn’t the actual date of Christ’s birth”. I’m not sure what this statement is supposed to accomplish. I think they intend to undermine Christianity in general, or to rattle weaker Christians, by implying that the holiday is somehow lessened because it is on the wrong calendar square. They’ve missed the point entirely.

We aren’t celebrating “the day” that Christ was born. We are celebrating THAT Christ was born. We have set aside a specific time to remember something we really need to remember. It doesn’t matter what day we celebrate it – in fact, as Christians we should be celebrating Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection ALL year, because that’s the reason for Christianity. But it matters THAT we remember it. So, if some officials somewhere chose December 25th because it was convenient, if not terribly accurate, I don’t really care. I am forever grateful that we get to celebrate it at all. I’m not worshipping the date on the calendar, but the one who created time to begin with.

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