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Advent 3

Why Christmas is Celebrated on Dec 25 Part 1

We are getting closer to celebrating the birth of Christ on Christmas Day. Sometimes people wonder why we actually celebrate Christmas on that particular day.  There are two theories.

The first has to do with the winter solstice, which was celebrated on Dec 25th in the ancient world. On this day, the Romans held a pagan feast to the unconquered Sun-God in which they acknowledged both the death of darkness – as the sun reaches its lowest point and the birth of the light - as each new day begins to get longer and longer. Everyone was encouraged to join in the feasting.

In 336 AD in Rome, the Christian’s first countered the pagan feasting with their own feast, for they had the true “light of the world,” as John so clearly declares in his Gospel (8:12). The light born on Dec 25 is not only the light of the sun, but the birth of the sun of righteousness, “who “shall rise with healing in his wings”, as Malachi so clearly proclaims (4:2). The great Christmas hymn by Charles Wesley “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” captures this in the third verse....

Hail, the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!

Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,

Ris’n with healing in His wings (LH 33:3)

When Christ, the light of the world, is born in Bethlehem, so comes the end, for Christ who was born to die brings to completion Gods plan of salvation – with His death. This connection between the birth of the Christ and His death brings us to the second theory as to the date of Christmas, which we will talk about next week.

Christians should not worry that they have taken over the date on which a pagan festival was once celebrated because, 1 Timothy 4:5 tells us that “all things are made holy by the Word of God and prayer,” and that includes a day that was a feast to the “unconquered Sun-God”.  

Mark Hampel

About the author

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Mark Hampel is an enthusiastic communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in churches and schools in 3 states. He currently lives in Chinchilla, Qld. His passion is building up the faith of God’s people and working with them so that all will come to know Christ as their joy and salvation.

Mark is happily married to Veronica and they have 4 children and 4 grandsons. He is also a farmer of sorts, having spent the last decade establishing a date plantation in Western Queensland. Other hobbies include Australian history, travel, film & literature and of course, family.

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Chinchilla

Trinity

Hear the Gospel preached in a remarkable house of worship that attests to the glory of God.  Trinity was established when the farming community was strong, and now finds itself charting a new course.

Intergenerational worship & the establishment of vibrant Home Groups are exciting developments within the congregation. Experience the close-knit family environment of our Sunday School.

Our people are a friendly bunch who enjoy a good chat.

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Downfall Creek

St John’s

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This faith community is a warm-hearted bunch, who love to share their hospitality with the district. They enjoy many a pot luck dinner and host ‘Easter Dawn Service & Breakfast’, ‘Christmas Eve’ & ‘Advent Tea’’ and ‘Games Nights’ for the community.

Home Groups are an important part of life in the Downfall. Discussion and exploration of the faith are encouraged.

Religious Education at the nearby Guluguba Primary School is provided by St John’s.

Downfall Creek

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Redeemer

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Religious Education at nearby Drillham State Primary School is provided by Redeemer.

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They host the annual ‘Western Muster’, an ecumenical Bible teaching gathering, held on the first weekend after Easter.

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