'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"' óLuke 2:10-14
There is much we do not, as yet, know about many facets of our daily lives. For example, most of us aren't sure about the origins of the many and diverse customs we observe. That is especially true regarding what has come to be called 'Christmas'....a term originally meaning
A 'Christ Mass'.
Or how many of those customs come from ancient traditions and religions, many of which can be traced back tens of thousands of years and come from all over the world....many of which have added to or evolved into what has become a yearly Celebration and Commemoration of the Birth and Life of One known to us as
'Jesus, the Christ'.
My friend, Glenn Kimball, of 'Ancient Manuscripts' fame,
shared some thoughts about the origins and meaning of Christmas.
'One of the most amazing facts about Christmas
is that it was never intended to be the principle holiday for Christians.
The celebration of the Resurrection was the primary Holiday (holy day) for
Christians for centuries.
The birthday of 'Jesus' became important when Dynisius Ignatius, a Sythian Monk (German) was appointed by Caesar to fix the Julian calendar with a zero point, rather than calibrating it with reference to monarchs of various sorts. His work was culminated in the year 533 AD. Since his library didn't contain all the required facts and figures he chose the zero point for the calendar a 'guestimate' of the birthday of 'Jesus'.
He was trying to please the Caesar and thus choose a Roman celebration for the winter solstice (Dec. 25th) as the date for celebrating the Birthday of 'Jesus'. He noted that they were celebrating the five hundredth year of the death of 'Jesus' and thought the birthday of 'Jesus' should be 33 years prior to that day.
He was in error about the age of 'Jesus' at the time of the crucifixion. There had been pressure to account for the so-called 'missing years of 'Jesus' and His age was artificially pinpointed at 33. 'Jesus' could not possibly have been 33 years old at the time of the crucifixion..
We can be certain of this
because the tax records of the Roman Empire are still in existence. They didn't
have a general tax each year, as we would do.
The scholar, Edersheim, recorded for us in the mid 1800's, from his vantage point at Cambridge University in England, that the only tax period was during the year of 6 BC. It is assumed that Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem a year in advance and therefore were in Bethlehem in the year 7 BC.
The crucifixion episode had been recorded as the year 31 AD. 'But that is unlikely because of the fact that Lucius Sejanus, Tiberius' praetorian prefect, executed his failed coup attempt in 31 AD.
Jesus was very much alive at this point.
We know that because of books written by
Raymond E. Brown
Also Foxes Book of Martyrs written in the fifteenth century
records for us, from Harvard University, that Pontius Pilate and Lucius Sejanus (Pilate's patron) were linked in that failed coup attempt conspiracy.
The ramifications of that relationship between Pilate and Lucius didn't filter down to Annas and Caiaphas (the two Sadducees who were directly responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus) until a year or two later. Tiberius Caesar didn't die until 33 AD..
Therefore, under the most
conservative of estimations 'Jesus' must have been in his late thirties or
forties at the time of the crucifixion. He could not possibly have been 33.
'Jesus' was not a winter baby either. Some knowledgeable and well-read scholars suggest that 'Jesus' was born in the Spring...while others think he was born in the autumn. Whatever the Truth, the Winter Solstice was chosen for the Celebration of the Birthday of 'Jesus'.
Some of the earliest celebrations of Christmas resembled our Halloween or Mardi Gras. There was feasting and the custom of having the servants in the house change places with the patrons for a day. The lowly crowd would go from house to house telling the patrons if they didn't change places with them for the day that they would inflict a "trick" on their home. That is where "Trick or Treat" came from. This debauchery and gluttony had little to do with the 'Birth of Jesus'. The manner of celebration didn't even resemble something close.
Later many of the fragmented Christian sects refused to celebrate the 'Birth of Jesus' because of the rowdy nature of the festival. That remained true all the way into our era.
The Founding Fathers of this country didn't even allow the Congress to recess for Christmas Day until half of the nineteenth century had already passed.
Christmas was banned in many states and in most Protestant churches.
Christmas eventually evolved as we know it today, based on the reformation of the 'manner of celebration'. The Spiritual Aspect was highlighted, along with the adoption of commercial interests that continue into our day.
We know that the original St. Nicholas was an
Eastern Orthodox priest. He was wealthy, as opposed to the vows of poverty for
modern Priests. Part of the attraction for the Clergy during the fourth century
was their ability to amass large sums of money because of their connection with
the trade routes to the East. St. Nicholas (Santa) would go throughout the city
and deposit gold coins in the shoes of good boys and girls. This was not in
connection with Christmas (Christ Mass). Rather it was a once a year gift during the
winter season to help them survive the off-season.
Christmas has become a special Holiday event for Americans. Churches have gathered together around the idea of sharing Mass on the 'Birthday of Jesus'. And families come together, many in the Spirit of Gift Giving and to honor Him on the day set aside to observe His Birthday.
There are parts of Christmas that some find too commercial or non-Christian. However, I can't think of a single legitimate reason for not celebrating any occasion regarding 'Jesus'. The giving of gifts and the trappings of Christmas have become a source of pride for America. And rightfully so.
Our culture is enriched by the holidays we have created and celebrate.
I, for one, am a big fan of Christmas.
I wish we could create a few more holidays that remind us of 'Jesus.'
Now, I, (LJC) wish to add some of my 'mystical' thoughts concerning
Christmas and the 'reasons' for celebrating Christmas.
Let's think about how Life evolves....let's look at it from the standpoint of the One Great Mind Whose Plan it all is.
There are Great Beings, Who govern and guide this planet, and Who see to it that all 'evolves' according to Plan and on schedule within Ages and Cycles....
Two thousand years ago was the starting point for the Next Part of a Great Plan for the Earth and for those Souls who have chosen to grow through the Earth Experience within this cycle of time.
A Plan was set into motion at that time to bring in the next level of Enlightenment meant to further the Evolution of those Souls embodying now on the Earth....as well, the plan was for the Evolution of Earth, Itself
The Great Ones had to lay Plans that could circumvent all the entrenched political control and organized religious dogma of that day, and that continues to be the case right into our time.
So, at the outset, there was much to be circumvented.
But the Great Beings had a Comprehensive Plan....One that would slowly unfold as humanity was capable of assimilating the next Level of Truth....and little by little, the Pieces of the Puzzle came together giving us the picture we have today of the Great Drama of the Cosmic Being 'Jesus' and His Efforts, using both Body and Soul, to raise the vibration, the frequency of the Energy of the Planet and of the Souls here.
Remember that all of this is an Evolving Plan for Earth within a yet Grander Plan continuously unfolding within the entire Universe.
On Earth human consciousness had to be brought under control.....hate, anger, greed, all aspects of war...all animal energies and consciousness had to be transmuted and raised into a Higher Perception and Activity of Life if the Soul was ever to have a vehicle through which 'Godness' would be able to shine on this Planet.
Thus, it came time to introduce, once again, the Divine Concept of Brotherly Love and Personal Responsibility. It was time for individuals to learn to appreciate and take care of each other. It was time to begin the process of eliminating war in any form from this Planet. And that had to begin with each individual Lifestream (Soul) who came to Earth. Each Soul had to be taught in advance how to blaze enough Love through the physical vehicle, to overcome the energy of a vehicle largely developed with a 'fight to survive' genetic pattern.
The Great Ones knew and now we know, that only the Quality we call Love, which is the Energy of 'God's Heart', the Highest and Mightiest Cosmic Frequency, would be powerful enough to tame the human beast.
Now back to Christmas.
And so a 'Special One' embodied. We know Him as 'Jesus'....and it is said in metaphysical literature that He had spent eons of time developing His Holy Christ Consciousness until He stood out as 'Very Special' in the Highest of Heavens.
And it is said that He had been preparing Himself for ages for the particular Service He inaugurated on Earth as 'Jesus, two thousand years ago.
He came teaching and demonstrating the Story of 'Individual Christness'....a Story that has only just begun....but the Door has been opened....
Jesus said, 'I AM' the Open Door that no man can shut and no one comes to a Relationship with God without walking through that Door and entering into the Knowledge that eventually leads each individual to knowing WHO THEY REALLY ARE, BODY AND SOUL and using that Knowledge to develop and expand their individual, Inherent Christness, the Guiding Light of each ones Life'
And those who wish to progress, Body and Soul....finally to ascend from this material vibration into a Plane of Higher Vibration....can make good use of all the Information that does exist around this Historical Figure....being not concerned with the details over which 'experts' split hairs....simply accepting and practicing the Great Truths of Love and Brotherhood presented to mankind by this 'Jesus'.
His human identity is still in question as is the part played by those Who came to serve with Him....for there are many important Players in this Drama....one that has evolved and includes developing and using the observance of a Holiday we call Christmas to raise the Consciousness and Understanding of the Christness within each of us, Body and Soul.
This Drama has now progressed to the point where the last century has seen New Information being given that is meant to assist those who choose to embody during this time the opportunity to ascend into a Higher Level of God-Consciousness. If we are interested in the Idea of the Ascension, if we wish to play a part in this Cosmic Drama, we can begin to step up our search for Truth....the Truth of God, the Truth of our own Beingness. It is up to each one of us to take the Next Evolutionary
Course in 'Christness...'
Now being offered to everyone at this time.
FINALLY, I TOO AM A BIG FAN OF CHRISTMAS.
I ALSO WISH WE COULD CREATE A FEW MORE HOLIDAYS
THAT WOULD REMIND US OF 'JESUS' AND REMIND US OF THE
'CHRISTNESS' HE CAME TO TEACH AND DEMONSTRATE!
WE THANK YOU FOREVER AND EVER, BELOVED JESUS.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL
PATHWAY MORE ABOUT CHRISTMAS