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Grace Fellowship Church www.GraceDoctrine.org Pastor/Teacher - Jim Rickard Tuesday, December 23, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Grace Fellowship Church www.GraceDoctrine.org Pastor/Teacher - Jim Rickard Tuesday, December 23, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grace Fellowship Church Pastor/Teacher - Jim Rickard Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 Christmas Eve Eve 2008 The Genesis of Modern Christmas and its Symbols

3 Titus 1:15, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”

4 When did Christmas begin?

5 Ancient Babylon. Yule = infant or little child. Yule-day, December 25th and the night that preceded it, ‘mother-night’.

6 The Continental Saxons offered a boar in sacrifice to the sun god Mithras, as propitiation.

7 In ancient Rome, the boar was also part and parcel of the feast of Saturnalia.

8 In 350 A.D., Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25.

9 Other symbols of Christmas and their origins:

10 1) The Yule Celebration:

11 Northern Europe - the Germanic pagans celebrated their own winter solstice, known as Yule or Jul, symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, which means being born.

12 2) Christmas Caroling:

13 In ancient Rome the tradition of the Mummers was born. Groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors.

14 This became known in England as wassailing. Wassailing has two histories:

15 a) Peasants would travel to their lord's residence and sing songs in the hopes of getting some food.

16 b) Apple orchards. Wassailing to awaken the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn.

17 3) Candles:

18 Babylonian pagans on the eve of the festival of the ‘sun-god’, lit candles to honor him.

19 Also it was customary to light candles to encourage Mithras, the Germanic god, and the sun, to reappear.

20 4) Mistletoe; Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a peace and fertility ritual.

21 5) Holly and Holly berries were thought to be a food of the gods.

22 6) The Christmas tree: Symbols of Northern European winter solstice celebrations. Live trees were brought in as a reminder that their crops would grow again.

23 They were carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility.

24 The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

25 7) Santa Claus: a.k.a., St. Nicholas - a bishop of Myra in Asia Minor in the A.D. 300's, who was famous for his generosity and who became the patron saint of children.

26 Before St. Nicholas it was a pagan god who was believed to leave gifts under an evergreen tree.

27 The Scandinavian god Odin or Wodin was the precursor of “Santa Claus”. Odin, was the chief god in Old Norse mythology - the ruler of the universe.

28 Conclusion:

29 For Christians, the meaning of these symbols represents something about Christ. God turned the tables on Satan and has taken his symbols to represent Christ. Gen 50:20

30 Gen 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

31 Ultimately, the issue is not the season; it's the attitude and reason behind it. Titus 1:15; Col 2:16-17: Rom 14:1-9, 14-23; 1 Cor 8:4-8; 10:23-24

32 Titus 1:15, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”

33 Col 2:16-17, “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”

34 Grace Fellowship Church Tuesday, December 23, 2008 Tape # The Origins of Christmas Celebrations Rom 14:1-23; Titus 1:15; Col 2:16-17; 1 Cor 8:4-8; 10:23-24 Grace Fellowship Church Tuesday, December 23, 2008 Tape # The Origins of Christmas Celebrations Rom 14:1-23; Titus 1:15; Col 2:16-17; 1 Cor 8:4-8; 10:23-24 James H. Rickard Bible Ministries 2008


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