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Due to the proximity of the Christmas holidays, we decided to present the theme Christmas with Christ.

It’s always a very exciting and distinctive time of the year for most people nowadays is a chance to catch up with our families, friends and relatives, take some time out of work and enjoy the beginning of the Summer weather. Well, at least for us in the southern hemisphere.  We can say that all the Christmas traditions and symbols are already installed in people’s minds. Where do they come from? Where do they fit in our lives? Most importantly, what’s the meaning of Christmas according to Spiritism?

During Last week’s meeting there was a very interesting comment by one of the participants: We are not of this world (material world), but we are living in it, so it’s important to analyze this things.

 

 

Christmas (meaning "Christ's Mass") is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by billions of people around the world.

Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

While the birth year of Jesus is estimated among modern historians to have been between 7 and 2 BC, the exact month and day of his birth are unknown. His birth is mentioned in two of the four canonical gospels; The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.

 

 

In its early days, Christmas was not always celebrated on this date. In the absence of any document that registers the day of the birth of Jesus, Christians have tried, at first, even contradictory hypotheses. For over three hundred years, his birth was celebrated at different times of the year - while Eastern Christians celebrated Christmas on 6 January, the West did in November and December.

The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for some Christians.

Only from the fourth century that Pope Julius I deemed it appropriate to set a date for commemorating the birth of Jesus. The night of December 24 to 25 was chosen due to be the date that marked the anniversary of the god Mithras, the Persian god of light, a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse identifying Jesus as the "Sun of righteousness"; Also, coinciding with other ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice) and the saturnalia; a Roman festival dedicated to Saturn and characterized, among other ways, by the exchange of gifts.

 

 

  

Exchanging gifts at Christmas can be considered a tradition that originated in paganism, because it’s part of the Saturnalia and the Norse (Viking) festivities.

The custom originated among Christians only in the VII century by Pope Boniface. Some historians, however, believe that the custom arose from the habit of ancient mariners and travelers make offerings to the monks to celebrate these Masses, so that the trip ran them well. Another inspiration for the presents may have been the very action of the 3 kings who visited Jesus, after His birth, and they offered him gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 

Many of the current habits and customs have been acquired and adapted throughout the years.  The Christmas lights, the Christmas tree, the manger scene or crib.

The Christmas tree originated from Germany. Some attribute its conception to Saint Boniface, missionary who, in the eighth century, wished to replace the pagan cult, held in the German god Odin, the symbol of Christ forests.

Others say it was Martin Luther in the sixteenth century, Luther was walking through a pine forest on Christmas Eve when he saw the stars shining even more beautiful through the branches covered with snow. Fascinated by it, he cut a branch, took it home and used candles for their children to share the spectacle that was seen out there.

 

 

  

The crib owes its origin to Francis of Assisi who, on Christmas Eve in 1224, in Italy, had the idea to represent the birth of Christ with the staging, a real stable, the manger, the ox and the ass. In the thirteenth century, the idealized representation by the founder of the Franciscan order was known throughout Europe.

 

 

 

  

 

In the inaugural work of Spiritism, Kardec dedicated the 3rd. Part of the Spirits’ book to the development of the theme "From Moral Laws".  On question number 625 the superior spirits define Jesus as "the most perfect example God has offered to man, to serve as a guide and model".

 

He came to fulfill and develop God’s law; to show its real meaning and to adapt it to the degree of Man's advancement at that time He was amongst us.

 

  

In order for people to be able to understand the hidden meaning of His words it was necessary for new ideas and knowledge to mature, so bringing the indispensable key, as these things could not appear before the human Spirit had achieved a certain degree of maturity. Science still had to play an important part in the emergence and development of these ideas; therefore it was necessary to give time for science to progress.

 

The time has now come when the truth must be made intelligible for all. It is necessary to explain and develop the divine laws, because few among us understand them, and still fewer practice them.

 

 

 

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