Signs of Joy
When the fullness of time came God sent his Son, his eternal wisdom, the substance of his own glory, into this world, who took the nature of humanity from the substance of a woman, a virgin, by means of the Holy Ghost. And so was born the “just seed of David,” the “Angel of the great counsel of God,” the very Messiah promised, whom we confess and acknowledge to be Emmanuel, true God and true man, two perfect natures united and joined in one person.
—The Scots Confession (1560), chapter VI
Thus saith the Lord: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool: what is this house that you will build to me? and what is this place of my rest?2 My hand made all these things, and all these things were made, saith the Lord. But to whom shall I have respect, but to him that is poor and little, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my words?3 He that sacrificeth an ox, is as if he slew a man: he that killeth a sheep in sacrifice, as if he should brain a dog: he that offereth an oblation, as if he should offer swine's blood; he that remembereth incense, as if he should bless an idol. All these things have they chosen in their ways, and their soul is delighted in their abominations.Wherefore I also will choose their mockeries, and will bring upon them the things they feared: because I called, and there was none that would answer; I have spoken, and they heard not; and they have done evil in my eyes, and have chosen the things that displease me.5 Hear the word of the Lord, you that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hate you, and cast you out for my name’s sake, have said: Let the Lord be glorified, and we shall see in your joy: but they shall be confounded.6 A voice of the people from the city, a voice from the temple, the voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to his enemies.7 Before she was in labour, she brought forth; before her time came to be delivered, she brought forth a man child.8 Who hath ever heard such a thing? and who hath seen the like to this? shall the earth bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be brought forth at once, because Sion hath been in labour, and hath brought forth her children?9 Shall not I that make others to bring forth children, myself bring forth, saith the Lord? shall I, that give generation to others, be barren, saith the Lord thy God?10 Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that mourn for her.11 That you may suck, and be filled with the breasts of her consolations: that you may milk out, and flow with delights, from the abundance of her glory.12 For thus saith the Lord: Behold I will bring upon her as it were a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent the glory of the Gentiles, which you shall suck; you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you.13 As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.14 You shall see and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb, and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall be angry with his enemies.15 For behold the Lord will come with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind, to render his wrath in indignation, and his rebuke with flames of fire.16 For the Lord shall judge by fire, and by his sword unto all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.17 They that were sanctified, and thought themselves clean in the gardens behind the gate within, they that did eat swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse: they shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.18 But I know their works, and their thoughts: I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues: and they shall come and shall see my glory.19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send of them that shall be saved, to the Gentiles into the sea, into Africa, and Lydia them that draw the bow: into Italy, and Greece, to the islands afar off, to them that have not heard of me, and have not seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory to the Gentiles:20 And they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and in coaches, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as if the children of Israel should bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.21 And I will take of them to be priests, and Levites, saith the Lord.22 For as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I will make to stand before me, saith the Lord: so shall your seed stand, and your name.23 And there shall be month after month, and sabbath after sabbath: and all flesh shall come to adore before my face, saith the Lord.24 And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh.—Isaiah 66 (Douay-Rheims 1899 translation)
10 And behold there was a man who had a withered hand, and they asked him, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 But he said to them: What man shall there be among you, that hath one sheep: and if the same fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not take hold on it and lift it up?
12 How much better is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do a good deed on the sabbath days.
13 Then he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand; and he stretched it forth, and it was restored to health even as the other.
14 And the Pharisees going out made a consultation against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But Jesus knowing it, retired from thence: and many followed him, and he healed them all.
16 And he charged them that they should not make him known.
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaias the prophet, saying:
18 Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul hath been well pleased. I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not contend, nor cry out, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 The bruised reed he shall not break: and smoking flax he shall not extinguish: till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name the Gentiles shall hope.
—Matthew 12:10-21 (Douay-Rheims 1899 translation)
Against those who despise and oppose the Feast Of The Nativity, accusing it of being Pagan, yet claim to be Christian:
The Earliest Christian traditions, from the first Three Centuries, state that the day when Mary was announced the Divine Incarnation, or Conception of The Saviour (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th—and it is still celebrated today on the 25th of March. Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th of December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians held that the world had been Created, and also the day that Jesus Christ Died on, upon the Cross. The date of March 25th was chosen because it had been extremely accurately calculated that this was the day on which The Lord Died, Nisan 14th in the Jewish Calendar, through Jewish, Pagan and Christian sources, besides the preserved Tradition of Pascha, and they affirmed that The Lord was Conceived and had Died on the same day of the year, as happened with the Old Testament Prophets, as a Sign of God.
Tertullian of Carthage, writing in the Late Second and Early Third Century, reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Crucifixion according to the Gospel of St. John, in the year The Lord died, was equivalent to March 25th in the Roman Julian Calendar. In the East, too, the dates of Jesus Christ's Conception and Death were linked. All this was established long before Emperor Marcus Aurelius made the feast of Sol Invictus official, in the year 274 AD.
Of course, the Nativity celebrates not the Sun, as is often blasphemously claimed, but God’s Incarnation, and the dates merely coincided, at best. Israelites did not worship the Sun. It is a Hebrew Feast/Observation, not a Pagan One. The Early Fathers actually argued that Pagans had, by demonic inspiration, established festivals to mock the Hebrew-Christian Festivals, such as Pascha and Pentecost, which go back to Moses, far before other Pagan Festivals were established.
God’s Incarnation IS DENIED by all religions. Pagans, who murdered Christians for believing in His Incarnation, that is, in the events of Christmas, cannot worship Christ!
Moreover, the whole Church accepting a false date, throughout the world, even the separated Nestorians in Babylon and India, is an impossibility and would mean that the Church, as Guided by The Holy Ghost, is practically a fraud. This is inadmissible.
Why did the Orthodox Patriarchates and Protestant Reformers oppose Popish Corruption? Because they had sources against them. Why did no one oppose the Nativity or Pascha during the Early Church, despite opposing all manner of heresies, literally thousands? This is because the Nativity was not an innovation, but Apostolic Tradition received inviolate.
As such, to affirm that the Holy Nativity is of Pagan Origin is blatantly absurd and manifestly false, having absolutely no historical basis, but is only truly Pagan, Judaising and Atheistic Propaganda against Historical Christianity. May all such blasphemies against The Lord's Divine Incarnation, His Nativity, for our Salvation, cease!
CHRISTUS NATUS EST!
Felix Dies Nativitatis!
С Рождеством Христовым!
חג מולד שמח!
میلاد مسیح مبارک باد
Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been “in planted on the earth”...
—St. John Chrysostom
Signs of JOY collected this past month on walks around my mother’s neighborhood. Texts collected this morning on Telegram and elsewhere on the scattered sites of the Internet—breaking the Babel Tower of Fear (h/t to the Big Bear for this insight).
Rachel, thank you for tirelessly presenting the truth on Christmas. Even Owen talked about Jesus was born in September in one of his recent episodes. Clearly he did not read your first article and this article on the origin of Jesus's birthday. Thanks for addressing this. Christians should celebrate Christmas proudly and enthusiastically not only because it is symbolic but also it is historical.ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas! And yes! It is historical as well as symbolic.Delete
Rachel, sometimes I do learn more right here than I ever learned in the formal Methodist church I was raised in. Have you ever thought about doing a stint in the pulpit-black robe optional-somewhere in your "spare time"??ReplyDelete
I only preach here!Delete