Category Archives: Christmas

-Putting Christ and Merry Back into the Christmas Season

English: Nativity scene on the Buenos Aires Me...

                   (Image via Wikipedia)

There seems to be far fewer attacks upon Christmas this year. As I go out into the stores I now see a variety of signs greeting me including ‘Merry Christmas’ most of the time. Some of the same stores only had the perfunctory ‘Happy Holidays’ on their signs last year.

Maybe some of the business administrators read the same poll I did that 70% of Americans prefer the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting to ‘Happy Holidays’. Maybe some of the businesses in their haste to be ‘inclusive’ and not to offend a few now realize they were actually offending the many instead.

Some other polls that I have read find that between 85-92% of the country celebrates Christmas in some form or another.

Even for those who are not really believers, the Christmas season still brings the story of the birth of Jesus to the forefront for a few weeks out of the years at least. Though a cursory inventory of the shows on TV demonstrates a continuing trend towards the myth of Santa Claus and his reindeer and away from the true miracle of the season. For some the season should probably be called ‘Santa-mas’.

One disturbing thing I found over the weekend is that my grandchildren really do not know very many of the old traditional Christmas carols. They stopped singing them in schools so their exposure to traditional Christmas music is now limited to home and church and the car radio.

Over the weekend I came across President Obama’s message during the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington DC. I think it was one of the very few times I was actually proud of this President. He actually told the real Christmas story and framed his message around the real reason for the season.

This Christmas season is a time of economic difficulty for many. I know in our own family we will not be spending as much on gifts as we have in the past. Nevertheless, this Christmas will not be diminished in any way since we plan to emphasis the ‘merry’ and the ‘Christ’ during this season and reach out to others when we can.            *Top

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-Merry Christmas!

May you and yours be blessed on Christmas Day. Here’s a video that blessed me this Christmas:  “Where’s the Line to See Jesus” by Becky Kelley

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-Christmas and Attacks of the ‘Super Spiritual’ and ‘Knowledgeable’

Merry Christmas Sign

(Image by Crossroads Cottage via Flickr)

Sometimes it is Sunday, Tattoos, the name ‘Christian’, contemporary worship, or any Bible but the KJV that gets them going.

But this time of the year it is Christmas that is under attack by those folks that I call the ‘Super Spiritual’ and ‘Knowledgeable’-folks that know it all and are way beyond the rest of us Spiritually.

I am sure you have all heard it by now from one source or another, December 25 was originally celebrated by the Romans as ‘Saturnalia’- the birthday of Saturn and the tradition of decorating trees comes from Druid pagan worship -‘Real’ Christians don’t celebrate Christmas and God hates and condemns it!

All that may be somewhat historically true and I guess if you are worshipping Saturn on the 25th of this month and you have dedicated and decorated a tree to a pagan god then they may have a point.

First time I heard this line was back in the early 70’s one Saturday when our family was decorating our tree. Then there was a knock on our door and a very fine couple from the Watch Tower (Jehovah Witnesses) proceeded to explain to us how what we we doing was pagan. It wasn’t very convincing to me then and still isn’t and I do know all of the history and the facts thank you very much.

Yes, Jesus was probably born sometime in the fall since the shepherds were still in the fields and the Wisemen didn’t show up till months later when they were living in a house, that’s why Herod had all the babies under 2 killed and not just the newborn. But the rest of the events and story we celebrate this time of the year is entirely true and recorded in Matthew (Mt 1:18-2:18) and in Luke (Lk 1:26-56, 2:1-40). However, Isaiah should never be ignored:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Is. 7:14)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Is. 9:6)

As usual on Christmas Eve our family will break out the Bible and read those passages about the first Christmas and when we come to the part of the angels appearing to the shepherds my granddaughter will probably point to the angel at the top of our tree.

Oh yes, there will be no mention of Saturn or any other pagan deity.

Merry Christmas!

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-Merry Christmas…Here’s the Real Night Before Christmas Story

Living Christmas Nativity Scene - 041F
(Nativity  by krisdecurtis via Flickr)

The real Christmas story is found in Matthew (Matt. 1:18-2:18) and in Luke ( Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-40). However, Isaiah should never be ignored:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Matthew gives us the story largely from the perspective of Joseph, including the dreams that he had and his family genealogy. In this gospel the ‘Kingship’ of Jesus is the major topic. Starting with the Davidic Kingly genealogy through Joseph and the coming of the Magi (Wisemen) who are looking for the new king. Also King Herod’s reaction is in Matthew.

The events in Luke are given to us from Mary’s view. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces the coming of the child. Mary’s genealogy is also given in Luke (Luke 3:23-38), she was also a descendant of David, but not in the ‘Kingly’ line. Chapter 2 begins with the Christmas story that everyone is familiar with:

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

However, nothing explains the real reason for the season better than John 3:16-17:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  -KJV


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The Purpose of Christmas?

Pastor Rick Warren has been in the news lately as Barrack Obama’s controversial choice to say a prayer at the inaugural.

Here’s an excellent article written by Warren on the real meaning of Christmas. It’s actually an excerpt from his recent book:  The Purpose of Christmas–a timely message posted in Christianity Today Magazine online:

"Christmas is a party. Specifically, it’s a birthday party — for Jesus — and birthdays are meant to be celebrated. It’s why we say "Merry Christmas!"

Ironically, at most Christmas parties the person whose birthday we’re supposed to be celebrating is completely ignored. He’s never even mentioned. Although Jesus is the reason for the season, he’s often overlooked or merely mentioned along with Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, the Grinch, elves, and a long list of celebrated fictional characters.

As I was writing this little book, I decided to take a survey of Christmas shoppers. I asked, "What are you celebrating this Christmas?" Most answers had nothing to do with Jesus:

  • "I’m celebrating that I made it through another year."
  • "I’m celebrating being home with my family."
  • "I got a Christmas bonus."
  • "My son is home from Iraq."
  • "The candidate I voted for got elected."
  • "I’m celebrating that I’ve finished all my shopping."
  • "I’m not celebrating anything. I’m just trying to survive."

Preparing for Christmas can be a lot of work, especially for moms. With the pressure of buying gifts, sending greeting cards, decorating our homes, putting up lights, cooking, attending parties, and cleaning up afterward, we have little time to actually enjoy the meaning of Christmas.

The first purpose of Christmas is celebration! We learn this from the angel’s opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem. God had wonderful news for us that would cause us all to rejoice, celebrate, and throw a party: "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10 (NIV)

The good news of Christmas is worth celebrating for three reasons. It is personal: "I bring YOU." It is positive: "GOOD news of great joy." And it is universal: "for ALL the people." It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or where you’re headed — this news is for you."  <<Read the complete article>>            *Top

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