Most attempts to shape a Christian philosophy of the arts have centered around the doctrine of the Incarnation. The biblical proclamation that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14) is viewed as an affirmation that humanity, along with the physical world in which people live, is made sacred in virtue of God’s participation within it.
The historic starting point of the Christian year is the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christian “Pascha,” or Passover. However, for most Christians, the Christian seasons begin with Advent, a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s coming.
Following the lead of secular culture, many Christians place Christmas as the most important day in the Christian year. This article suggests that a more profound understanding of Christmas arises out of an awareness of the history of the Christian year. Christmas should be understood in light of the events which follow—Epiphany and, eventually, Easter.