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December 25 in Christian History

Dec 25, 2008 12:24 PM EST

0336 - This is the earliest known year that Jesus' nativity was celebrated on December 25th, as mentioned in the Philocalian Calendar of A.D. 354. Jesus' birth was commemorated on January 6th in Greek Orthodoxy, although by the 400s most of the Eastern churches had accepted the Roman date.


1413 - Two years before his martyrdom, Bohemian reformer and martyr Jan Huss wrote in a letter: 'Rejoice, that the immortal God is born, so that mortal men may live through eternity.'


1537 - German reformer Martin Luther was recorded as saying: 'It is the most ungodly and dangerous business to abandon the certain and revealed will of God in order to search in to the hidden mysteries of God.'


1723 - The Dunkards (Baptists from Germany) held their first immersion service in America at Germantown (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.


1923 - In Washington, D.C., during Calvin Coolidge's first Christmas as president, the first electrically-lit Christmas tree appeared in the White House.


© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from Almanac of the Christian Church