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With photographs taken in Nazareth and Bethlehem the meaning of Christmas is explained. For illustration a masterpiece of Matthias Gruenwewald with the Annunciation and Mry with the Child is …

With photographs taken in Nazareth and Bethlehem the meaning of Christmas is explained. For illustration a masterpiece of Matthias Gruenwewald with the Annunciation and Mry with the Child is presented.

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  • 1. The meaning
    of
    Christmas
    Alfred Driessen
    Driessen.Alfred@gmail.com
    December 2010
  • 2. Content
    Christmas
    in the past amd now
    advent: the preparation
    The Bible (Old Testament)
    Nazareth
    the home of Mary
    the annunciation
    Bethlehem
    the birth of Jezus
    the shepherds
    Grünewald
    Isenheimeraltaar
    Mayné, 1975, retabelTorreciudad
  • 3. Christmas (history)
    Pagan festival that was christened
    Germanic tribes: Winter Solstice, midwinter or Jul festival
    (see burning sun wheel)
    Mediterrean: until the 4th century worship of the sungod Nimrod
    Germanic tribes always used a green tree:
    • symbol of fertility
    Christmas: Christ-Mass
  • 4. Christmas now
    Again a pagan festival?
    O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
    Thy leaves are so unchanging;
    O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
    Thy leaves are so unchanging;
    Not only green when summer's here,
    But also when 'tis cold and drear.
    O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
    Thy leaves are so unchanging!
    (an English translation of “O Tannenbaum” the favorite christmas caroll in neo-pagan Nazi Germany)
  • 5. Christmas now
  • 6. Advent: preparation
    Genesis 3:14-15 (circa 900 b.c)
    (14) And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
    (15) I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
  • 7. Advent: the preparation II
    Samuel 7:12-14 (7th century b.c.)
    (12) And when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of the bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
    (13) He shall build a house to my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom fore ever.
    (14) I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son: and if he commit any iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.
  • 8. Advent III
    Isaiah 7:13-14 (8th century b.c)
    (13) And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also?
    (14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
  • 9. The archangel Gabriel and the virgin Mary
    Luke 1:26-28(1st century)
    (26) And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,
    (27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary.
    (28) And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
    The church on top of the house of Mary in Nazareth
  • 10. Nazareth: The Church with the house of Mary
  • 11. The archangel Gabriel and the virgin Mary II
    Luke 1:31-33 (1st century)
    (31) Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
    (32) He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
    (33) And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
    The church with the house of Mary
  • 12. The archangel Gabriel and the virgin Mary III
    Luke 1:35+38 (1st century)
    (35) And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
    (38) And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
    The house of Mary in Nazareth
  • 13. The archangel Gabriel and the virgin Mary IV
    John 1:14 (1st century)
    (14) And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.
    VERBUM CARO HIC FACTUM EST
    The Word became flesh here!
  • 14. The Church above the cave of Bethlehem
  • 15. The nativity of Christ in Bethlehem
    Luke 2:1+4-5 (1st century)
    (1) And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
    (4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.
    (5) To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
    The entrance to the cave of Bethlehem
  • 16. The nativity of Christ in Bethlehem
    Luke 2: 6-7 (1st century)
    (6) And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
    (7) And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.
    Inside of the cave of Bethlehem
  • 17. The place of the nativity in Bethlehem
  • 18. The place of the nativity in Bethlehem
    Hic de Virgine Maria Iesus Christus nascit
    Here Jesus Christ was born from the virgin Mary
  • 19. The shepherds field near Bethlehem
    Luke 2:8-10 (1st century)
    (8) And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
    (9) And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
    (10) And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people:
    The shepherds field near Bethlehem
  • 20. De nativity of Christ in Bethlehem
    Luke 2:11-12 (1st century)
    (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
    (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    The manger in the cave at Bethlehem
  • 21. The fountain at the shepherds field in Bethlehem
    Lucas, 2, 13-14 (1e eeuw)
    [13] En plotseling voegde zich bij de engel een groot hemels leger dat God prees met de woorden:[14] Eer aan God in de hoogste hemel en vrede op aarde voor alle mensen die hij liefheeft.
    De omgeving van het herdersveld bij Bethlehem
  • 22. Shepherds field at Bethlehem
    Luke 2:13-14 (1st century)
    (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    The surroundings of the shepherds field at Bethlehem (with fountain)
  • 23. Grünewald (1470-1528): Isenheimer altar
  • 24. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    The annunciation of the angel to the virgin Mary
  • 25. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    Luke 1:35 + 38 (1st century)
    (35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.
  • 26. Grünewald: the prophet Isaiah
  • 27. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    Isaiah 7:14 (8th century b.c.)
    Ecce virgo concepiet. . . .
    (14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • 28. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
  • 29. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    John 1:14 (1st century)
     [14] And the Word was made flesh!
    Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2:6-8 (1st century)
    (6) Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    (7) But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
    (8) He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
  • 30. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    Paul’s first letter to Timothy 6:16 (1st century)
    (16) Who only hath immortality and inhabiteth light inaccessible: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen.
    The Nicene creed
    God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father;
  • 31. Grünewald: Isenheimer altar
    Luke 2:8-9 (1st century)
    (8) And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
    (9) And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
  • 32. Wrap-up
    The quotes from holy scripture come from the Douay–Rheims version of the Bible: www.drbo.org/
    The pictures from Nazareth and Bethlehem have been taken during a stay in Israel from the 25th of July until the 16th of August 2009.
    The English version has been made in cooperation with Patrick Smink.
    CSR: Culture, Science and Religion
    These and other presentations can be found at:
    www.slideshare.net/CSRsource
    Icon in the Church of Bethlehem