Friday, December 22, 2017

Reasons We Know Jesus Was Born in December

From Aleteia:
The Awassi sheep is a desert sheep, a fat-tailed breed that has existed in the Middle East for an estimated 5,000 years. It is the only indigenous breed of sheep in Israel. They are raised for wool, meat, and milk. Awassi sheep breed in the summer and drop lambs in the winter, when there is sufficient pasture for the ewes in milk. In Israel, the principal lambing season is December through January. This is practical, I thought. This is fact. This is biology.

Sheep estrus, it turns out, varies according to breed. In northern breeds, estrus is triggered by the shortening of daylight after the autumn equinox. Breeding occurs naturally in October to November, and lambs are dropped in March and April. But, as you move geographically closer to the equator, the days don’t shorten as dramatically. Instead, sheep from subtropical and tropical areas tend to breed earlier, and drop lambs in the winter, or even breed and drop lambs year round.

This one little tidbit of information, for me, crystallized all the others. Of course Jesus, the Lamb of God, was born at the same time and in the same place as all of the Passover lambs. Of course this time was such that the day of His entry to and exit from the world are the same. Of course the nativity of John the Baptist is when it is because Jesus’s birth really is when it is. 

Biology places great value on symmetry, and here was a symmetry to delight my intellect, a symmetry of history and theology and biology. Earlier, I had honestly mourned the loss of my childish wondering; now I find that this understanding has produced a greater and deeper wonder at the providence of God. (Read more.)

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