“Oh death, where is thy sting?” (1 Corinthians 15)
But when something goes bad, the Father always has a plan for restoration and redemption. If we just look at the 4 cardinal signs of the zodiac, we see an Ox, Lion, Man, and Scorpion. If we look at the 4 faces of the angelic living creatures or cherubim, we see an Ox, Lion, Man, and Eagle. Don’t know about you, but I like the Eagle a lot better!
This is the only sign that involves a replacement, and it’s the same principle we see in the gospels as well. Just in case you’ve forgotten, of the 12 apostles, only one went bad and had to be replaced. In the same way, of the 12 constellations, only one went bad and had to be replaced. What wonderful symmetry between heaven and earth!
This next month will reveal just how mortal mankind can be. For many, it will be a time of material concerns. It will be a mad grab for things that can only rust and destroy and decay. Mortality is the state of temporal things – things that can’t last or inherit the glory of heaven.
And yet, in the midst of all the temporal activity, there is a long awaited season of celebration. December 21st is the beginning of winter, and that has been a celebrated time of the year as long as mankind has been keeping records of such things. It is the winter solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year, and the beginning of longer periods of sunlight. It is a historic celebration of getting past the darkness and into a new season of light.
There have been many, many evolutions of this celebration. For instance:
- There is good evidence that around the winter solstice, on December 25th, the wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem and gave him gifts.
- In the hebrew culture, there is a festival of lights that begins in this sign.
- The Roman empire celebrated Saturnalia around the winter solstice. They, too, used it as a time to give presents, feast, and hold parties.
- Our modern “Santa Claus” image may have come from a cross between the god Saturn (or Cronus) and Father Time, taking from the old Saturnalia festival.
- Northern Europe celebrated Yule and the lighting of the yule log (massive tree or stump to keep the family warm)
- Also, northern germanic culture celebrated this time by decorating an evergreen tree along with feasting and dancing
Personally, I don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus during this time, because I’m convinced there is a better time of year to do so. However, I’m writing this blog entry to encourage you to do one thing: celebrate the solstice. No, I didn’t just encourage you to do something wrong. I’m urging you to connect with time, and to do it from a heavenly perspective. Give gifts! Feast! Decorate something! Celebrate the end of the darkness and a new season of increasing light! Celebrate regeneration and renewal! And, most of all, celebrate eternity.