Warmth and light will vanquish the cold darkness
Part III Finding Common Spiritual Ground
Personally, while some Christians may find these pagan parallels disturbing, I rejoice in them. A former pagan, I find the modern rivalry between pagans and Christians unnecessary and absurd. According to the faith of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, which I share, paganism is “the elder sister of Christianity.” In their view, the pagan myths inspire us and plant the seeds in our consciousness to be able to understand and appreciate the Dying and Reborn God when He incarnates in human history in Bethlehem. Jesus is not the adversary of the pagan myths – He is their fulfillment.
Indeed, from a theological standpoint pagans and Christians have more in common than one might initially realize. Although Christianity has been referred to along with Judaism and Islam as, “the religions of the book,” which share the Old Testament or the “Abrahamic tradition,” the theology of Christianity stands in stark contrast to the other two. According to Judaism and Islam, the Incarnation of God is blasphemy, and the Trinity is polytheism! They assert that God is One and God does not beget children nor come to earth in human form nor, of course, ever die.
It is only in the pagan traditions that we find a God who is born of a woman in order to be here on earth among us – Immanuel, “God With Us,” to teach us, to love us, to play with us, even to die for us, and by rising again to defeat death. He has appeared in the ancient myths as Krishna, Mithras, Apollo, Hercules – born of a woman, half human, half divine. Others, such as Balder and the modern literary character Raiden (of “Mortal Kombat”) have divine parents but are willing to sacrifice their immortality, or at least temporarily set aside their infinite powers, on our behalf. Out of undying love for us, the Divine personally intervenes so that the Sun will return, warmth and light will vanquish the cold darkness, love will conquer hate, nature will bloom again and life will triumph over death.
And for me, that is what Christmas is all about.
by Clare x8152