Feb 2, 2012

Why Christians Can Celebrate Imbolc

Imbolc, the ancient Celtic festival of light, marks the halfway point between the Celtic festivals of the dark and light halves of the year (Samhain and Beltaine.) Spring is coming! In Ireland and the UK the appearance of the snowdrops is a sign.

Snowdrops
Photo by Eoin Gardiner
Because Imbolc is a pre-Christian, ancient Celtic observance, the festival has been adopted by modern pagans. But that does not mean Christians cannot also observe it. Spring is a time of renewal, a time of new hope, a fresh beginning.
In the verse below, God through the prophet Jeremiah is bemoaning the fact that God's people have turned away from Him, but instead, this is what they should be acknowledging.

 They do not say from the heart, 
      ‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, 
   for he gives us rain each spring and fall, 
      assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
~Jeremiah 5:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

Pagan means "country folks." And country folks by the nature of their lifestyle are more in tune to creation and what miracles it reveals--the nature of God. And that, is why Christians should celebrate the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc.

What do you think?

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
~From the hymn written by Folliot S. Pierpoint 

4 comments:

  1. As a Celtic Christian I see nature, the seasons etc. as manifestations of God. I celebrate Imbolc - it is one of my favourite feasts 'cause it means that the light finally returns. And it's a lovely time of renewal.

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    1. Renewal is an important element of Christianity. Thanks for the comment, Rowan!

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  2. I wish more Christians would acknowledge and appreciate the great heritage of beliefs and festivals that they borrowed and adapted from ancient pre-Christian people. I regret all of the unfair judgments which Christians make about people who follow the lovely nature-centered spiritual paths today. Oh, by the way, I am a retired Christian pastor.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. He was in Ireland before the Christians, wasn't He?

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