Merry Christmas


Whether you are celebrating Christmas in a Christian or secular way, may yours be blessed with all things that include love, goodwill, kindness and peace.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV

Merry Christmas.

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It’s Christmas Time Again


When we celebrate Christmas with turkey and stuffing, presents and trees, let’s remember the reason we enjoy all of these. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Merry Christmas to all and may this spectacular birth of centuries ago remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

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Life and Death


It is a sad time for many people who have lost loved ones very recently. No one can know the depths of another’s grief; no one can feel another’s aching feeling of loss; no one can bear another’s pain.

Life and death are caught up in each other’s shadow, in that death is a part of life and life is a continuation of death. Christmas is a very difficult time of year to have to face this reality. But then, is there ever a good time? I think not. Loss is loss whenever it occurs.

It has saddened my own heart to hear of the recent passing of two lovely ladies; one I have known for over sixty years, and the other I met just a few years ago. Both were, and are near and dear to their families and close friends. Both have left a gaping hole in the hearts of many.

Ecclesiastes says it best in chapter three, verse (1) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: (2) a time to be born and a time to die, (4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,. (NIV)

Laughing and dancing will not be on the agenda of some of us this holiday season, but we will honor the lives of these two ladies and be sure to include them in the memories of Christmases past.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4. 

 

 

Reflecting on Christmas


This is the way I learned about Christmas as a child, and I never tired of hearing it. No longer a child, I still love to read and reflect on this age-old story from the Gospel of Luke, chapter two, verses one to twenty in the NIV (New International Version) Bible. It’s what keeps me grounded to what Christmas really is while I’m enjoying the worldly pleasures of the season.

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

This version of the birth of Jesus has inspired many Christmas carols which most of us enjoy today: Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World…to name a few. They are a reminder that unto us a Child was born…the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

 

Let’s Give Christ Back to Christmas


The reason…and there are many of them…that we celebrate Christmas on December 25th is secondary. Celebrating the birthday of Jesus every year is really what Christmas is all about. It is remembering that he was born, lived an exemplary life, for approximately thirty-three years, and died an agonizing death. It is remembering not that he lived and died, but that he died and lives…lives in the hearts of those of us who believe, lives to reach out to those who do not believe, and lives to give real meaning to the event that is the most widely celebrated on our planet…Christmas. Let me share a poem I wrote in 1995 while pondering the idea that Santa Claus seemed to be the the reason for the season in many minds.

THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS

The wonder of Christmas,

The birth of a Child,

The angels are singing His praises,

The people rejoice

At the sound of His voice

Echoing down through the ages.

Hope, love and laughter,

Peace and goodwill,

The message resounds loud and clear,

The birth of God’s Son,

His gift to us all,

This is the wonder of Christmas.

©1995

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.