William J. Federer literally wrote the book on Santa Claus and the history of Christmas traditions. I’m discovering the joy of the season all over again as the jolly old soul who seemed to somewhat obscure Jesus on His birthday is actually a central figure in Church history who worshipped Jesus and sets an example for would-be disciples on what it means to be really sold out for Christ.
“Santa Claus”, a name derived from the Dutch pronounciation of Saint Nicholas, was a 3rd Century Bishop of the port city of Myra in Asia Minor (present day Turkey). The orphan and heir of wealthy merchant parents, he really did give it all away in devotion to Christ and love of his fellow man.
Imprisoned awaiting death for his faith during the cruel persecution of Emperor Diocletian, released when Christianity was legalised, he publically preached against killing unwanted babies and the other pagan practices and whole cities turned to Christ.
No, the 25th of December was not the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice. Google it. That’s the 21st of December, sometimes the 22nd. Pope Liberius successfully ended the worship of the Roman “god of the unconquered sun”, Saturn. In 354 AD to celebrate Christianity’s superiority over paganism Liberius replaced the pagan day with the worship of the One true unconquered Son of God, Jesus Christ. “Christ Mass” means celebration of Christ. Paganism was demolished, not renovated.
The 25th of December was arrived at because John the Baptist was traditionally regarded as being conceived on September 25 (we can be fairly certain when Zechariah was on Priest duty with clues in Luke 1:5 and 10). Six months later (March 25, the date of Annunciation) Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit; and nine months after that is… December 25!
Biblical and Christian; not pagan.
This interview about our Christian history will assure the viewer that far from simply imbibing paganism into Christianity, Christmas and the traditions around it made an open show of paganism, humiliatingly defeating false Gods and fearlessly subjecting them and their practices to the Lordship of Jesus.
Want to know about Christmas trees decorated with lights next? There’s so much more. Be blessed by this three part interview over this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas and happy holy days!
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