Today is Christmas day, so I thought I would provide a metaphorical and
an anthropological perspective on the birth of Christ.
Christ was, as legend has it, born in Bethlehem in the first century.
Bethlehem is in modern day Palestine. Interestingly, Bethlehem is close to the region within the middle east known as the fertile crescent, where the agricultural revolution is thought to have begun.
What do the birth of Christ and the agricultural revolution have to do with one another?
Christ is known within the Christian tradition as the saviour of humanity. His birth represents renewal, abundance and unbounded sacrifice for all people.
On the other hand, the agricultural revolution took place at a time when
population pressure and the need for surplus were creating the necessities for mass farming.
Both Christ and agriculture can be seen through the same symbolic lens. Both events took place in a geographic region known as ‘the cradle of civilisation’ and both events are thought to have brought salvation and prosperity to us Earth-dwellers.
Christ is the symbolic representation of the agricultural revolution. 2000 years after his birth, we pay homage to him by celebrating at this time of year by eating good food with family and friends.
I am not religious in any way, but I do appreciate a good metaphor. I hope, by writing this, that I can shed light on a peaceful tradition that has been celebrated around the world for millennia. A tradition that does not necessarily imply the birth of a literal deity, but rather the birth of a metaphorical saviour who we can today thank for laying the foundation for today’s civilisation; namely, agriculture.