Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rethinking the Story

My sons and I just finished setting out "reindeer food" for Rudolph and his eight compadres, when I happened to look up at the night sky. The rain had stopped, leaving a clear, cloudless sky full of stars. Beautiful...

Let's switch gears for a moment. Why do we celebrate Christmas? What is its purpose? As most would probably acknowledge, it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Was Jesus born on Christmas Day? The answer is unequivocally no. The ancient scriptures point to a date closer to early Spring.

Why then was December 25th selected as the day to mark the birth of the Christ? Here's why...

Since the Autumnal or Fall Equinox, the days have been getting shorter and shorter. December 21st, the Winter Solstice, marks the darkest day of the year. The days remain in that darkness for approximately three more days. Then, on December 25th, the sun moves one degree higher, heralding the lengthening of the days. So in a very real and a very symbolic sense, light is being born into a world of darkness.

Think about it for a moment. What better day to choose?

Let me go back to the reindeer food. When I looked up at the night sky, I immediately noticed the three star belt of the constellation Orion. Actually, the three pyramids at Giza in Egypt are patterned after the three stars! The Great Pyramid of Khufu, the pyramids of his son Khafre, and his grandson Menkaure, are aligned to match the three stars with incredible precision.

Thus, the three stars are sometimes referred to as the "Three Kings." On December 24th, Christmas Eve, the "Three Kings" line up with a star low in the sky called Sirius. It is the brightest star in the night sky this time of year.

Follow me now, the "Three Kings" follow the "star in the east" or Sirius. They line up and point to...

The place where the sun rises on December 25th.

The birth of light into this dark world. What a powerful image to be woven into the heavens!

So as I clean up the reindeer food and tuck my sons into bed, I'm reminded that we are a part of a much bigger story than any of us realize.

Good night. Oh...and Merry Christmas!

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5:04 AM  

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