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Putting Christ into Christmas


Thursday, December 06, 2012

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-12

If we were to place a citizen of a third world country in one of our busy shopping malls during the Christmas season and he were to see the hustle and bustle of the crowds, what would be his impression of the meaning of the Christmas festivities? By the sight and sound of our Christmas preparations, would he be able to discern the true meaning of Christmas? Could we explain to him the real meaning? Would he believe us? The glitter, tinsel, buying and selling, drunken parties, and so on-​do these speak more loudly to such people than do the testimonies of our churches and of our individual Christian lives?
Our own children are rapidly losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas, for Christ has been taken out of Christmas, his place having been usurped by our own selfish pleasure in its outward celebration. At this beginning of the Christmas season, let us gather our families together and remind them through the reading of the Christmas story of the real meaning of this great Christian celebration. Let us attempt to cause them to see for themselves that there is a great depth to the richness of the glorious message of Christmas. Let us teach them that the Christmas season is a time:

1) For adoration and praise of our Lord.
This is a truism that is so obvious that it has been overlooked by many in our generation. At this season of the year, we ought to give full expression to our great love for the Lord through unashamed praise.

A baby has been born to bless the world in a unique way.
When any baby is born into a home, we rejoice over such a blessed addition to the family. The birth of the Christ child, when viewed from the full scope of the centuries, should cause such rejoicing as our hearts cannot contain. As the wise men of the East came to give adoration to him, so ought we to give adoration to him. They only knew by partial revelation that he was to grow up to be a very special person. We know by the testimony of the centuries what a special person was born in Bethlehem’s stable. We know through his life, teachings, miracles, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection from the dead that he truly is the Son of the living God, that God came down to earth that night so long ago in Bethlehem’s stable.

This babe came as a fulfillment of the promise that the one called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6 NIV) would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14).
Hundreds of years prior to this great event in Bethlehem’s stable a prophecy in rather minute detail was given concerning the circumstances of his birth and of his character and ministry. For such a glorious promise to find such complete fulfillment for human good is indeed cause for our adoration and praise. The Son of God stepped into the pages of history as complete fulfillment of God’s promises to humankind and for the purpose of reconciling people with God. At this season of the year, this great truth ought to cause us to sing our great Redeemer’s praise!

The shepherds watching their sheep in the valley below the mountain of Bethlehem were startled out of their drowsiness on that night by the most beautiful music they had ever heard, the carol being sung to them by a heavenly choir.
That music lingered in their hearts and minds throughout their days, causing them to set in motion songs of praise to the Christ child. Let there be depth of meaning to the words we sing; let these carols be expressive of our real feeling toward the Christ of Christmas.

2) Of realization of the meaning of his coming.
What does the coming of Christ into the world really mean to our hearts today? What was his purpose in coming into the midst of humankind?

He came to bring peace among people of goodwill by giving them the gift of peace in their hearts through the redemption of their souls.
This world today, even as in every preceding age, is crying out for peace. Nation is set against nation, race against race, philosophy against philosophy. We claim we want peace, but until we are willing to have peace on God’s terms, we can never find it. We have the promise of Micah the prophet, “And he will be their peace” (Mic. 5:5 NIV). Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

He came to bring hope-​hope for this present life and hope for eternity.
Isaiah the prophet had predicted centuries earlier, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (Isa. 9:2). God’s people at the time of Christ’s birth were in a hopeless situation. They were a people dominated by a foreign empire, Rome. They saw no prospect of a happy future, actually no prospect of a future of any sort. They knew little of life beyond the grave. Humankind in that day viewed life beyond the grave much as modern-day atheists view it-​eternity without hope.

He came to teach people how to love the Lord their God with all their hearts and to give expression to that love by loving their neighbors as themselves. How beautifully Jesus told the story of a Samaritan who kindly treated a Jewish man who had fallen among thieves on the winding road through the hot desert area between Jerusalem and Jericho. He told this so realistically that it causes one to wonder if by chance he was the person to whom it had happened. This was a new concept to those living under the law, for they had a philosophy of “live and let live,” not of “live and help to live.” And Jesus said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). The babe of Bethlehem’s stable was born as a result of God’s great love for lost and bewildered humanity; this babe so loved lost humanity that he later laid down his life that we might have eternal life. Such an example of love ought to inspire us to have true love for God and for our fellow humans.

3) For giving to others with no hope of receiving.
The commercialization of Christmas is something that true Christians deplore. The idea of giving ought to be based on love, of giving to others in the spirit of Christ.

Let us give to those in need instead of simply “exchanging” gifts.
Look about you this year and find some child who may not have any Christmas gifts because his parents have hit hard times. Assist those parents on behalf of the child’s Christmas toys. Help an older couple living on limited means. Help the down and out person. Give to those from whom you could not possibly expect a gift in return. The wise men came bearing rich gifts for a baby born of poor parents. They gave with no expectation of a gift in return. Let us give to others in the name of Christ and surprise ourselves with the greatest return gift of all-​that nice, warm feeling of joy in our hearts!

Let us give the greatest of all gifts at this season of the year, the gift of the Christ child himself to someone who does not know Christ personally.
Take the message of Christ to a person who is not a Christ follower. Introduce that person to Christ. Endeavor to lead that person to a saving knowledge of Christ. Give Christ at Christmas.

Now in Conclusion

This year let us really put Christ into Christmas by making him the focal point around which all of our celebration takes place. Let us give him our praise and adoration. Let us remember why Christ emptied himself of heaven’s glory in order to come down among sinful people and later die for them. Let us return to the joy of real gift giving at Christmas, giving the greatest of all gifts, Christ Jesus himself!

Merry Christmas to you all,
Pastor Mike
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
PRESBESS 12/24/2012 1:48PM

    Amen Pastor Mike, Amen.

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MZLADY77 12/24/2012 9:25AM

    LOve your blog! emoticon for sharing. Jesus is the reason for the season.

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ALASKASKY 12/13/2012 7:13AM

    emoticon

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TRAVELISMYGAME 12/12/2012 3:10PM

    So true! So many simply say "Seasons Greeetings" or "Happy Holidays", but I still (and will always) say "Merry CHRISTmas"!

My family has already read the Christmas story before opening our gifts on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.

Thanks for sharing this today.

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DOTTIEJANE1 12/11/2012 7:33PM

    Yes Jesus is the reason for the season , i hope that my actions daily all year long show this ,but even more so during His birthday . Have a blessed Christmas . emoticon

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ERIN1957 12/11/2012 3:42PM

    Many people don't care, it is an excuse to celebrate and spend.
Those of us that do know, can appreciate the beautiful reminders of this season, with heart felt joy knowing the celebration is for Him.
Many also do not even know the kind heart of the man who was Saint Nicholas, and probable don't even care. He was a real person. And gave to the needy.
But who do we celebrate him or HIM or ourselves?
We are different here in our home, no exchange of gifts as our gifts are given through out the year. We do decorate and in celebration of Him and the meaning of why we celebrate.
I believe the season should be celebrated, but with regards to why and how, WWJD and what would He want us to do. He never seem to condemn celebration and He did reach out to the needy and not only the poor, but the ones in need of love, salvation, and forgiveness. The blind, the lame, the sick and dying and even the dead. He didn't worry about a fashionable bow or ribbon, but He did give help and gifts of love and life. I believe we need to celebrate in honoring Him and leading by example.
We take this time, to help where we can. Reach out and spread love and as well try hard to honor Him through being humble and celebrating the same way.
I have no shame in watching the little ones receive with glee, but also delight in the most beautiful story of all, as we do it with honor and respect. Making sure they all know who is the center of all days and of all lives. It is about Him and not us...the true Gift of this most precious beautiful time of year.
Glory To God!
Erin

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JUDITH316 12/11/2012 3:49AM

    Thanks for sharing, indeed Jesus is the Reason for the Season, Let's Celebrate Jesus, the True Meaning of Christmas... You are a rich blessing Pastor Mike, thank you for sharing these Bible Blogs. You are appreciated..

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BABY_GIRL69 12/10/2012 3:23PM

    The true reason for the season is Christ! I do desire my children draw closer to Him and get away from commercialism. This year an added tradition, I will ask each of them to choose a gift that we could give to a charity.

God bless & thank you for this blog!

Dee

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DIANER2014 12/10/2012 2:03PM

    Great blog Pastor Mike! That is so true! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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IMEMINE1 12/10/2012 5:58AM

    The true meaning of Christmas certainly is lost by all the commercialism.
Wishing you a truly Merry Christmas.
Have a safe and happy holiday.

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2BE-MY-BEST 12/9/2012 9:15PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are always a blessing to your readers. Have yourself a Merry Christmas!

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FLMOMX2 12/9/2012 10:44AM

    What an inspiration! emoticon

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GARDENSFORLIFE 12/8/2012 10:19PM

    Great Blog! emoticon
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1CRAZYDOG 12/7/2012 6:34PM

    Oh how much this blog emphasizing the reason for the season is needed! My DD ad I spent this afternoon (she had a 1/2 day from school) writing cards for wounded soldiers in the hospital and not able to be with family this holiday. My own son will not be home for the holidays as his unit is on the "short list" to deploy (again) so I just wanted to do something special for other soldiers who are sacrificing so much for us.

Then we're making cookies to take to a local nursing home. I just want her to shift her focus from "I want" to "What can I give?"

Thank you for a wonderful blog.

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/7/2012 4:38PM

    I have a friend who is a missionary to China will not celebrate Christmas in any way. I have been a Christian for 26 years. At first I was offended by the emphasis on gifts. Now I believe God is able to use all things to his glory. There are so many beautiful songs about the nativity playing, even in our local coop. I believe God will get the attention of some who are seeking the truth in their hearts but don't know him. I especially pray for those of other religions during this season.

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LINDAK25 12/7/2012 3:56PM

    Merry Christ-mas to you as well.

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RONALANA 12/7/2012 11:00AM

    Thanks for posting this, Pastor Mike! Our true beliefs are demonstrated by our actions! If we say that Jesus is truly the reason for the season, let our actions show it! It is so easy to caught up in all the "activity" of Christmas and letting it occupy our time, our minds and our hearts. Your blog is a true call to worship and adoration of the only ONE deserving of our ALL!

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YELLOW09RED 12/7/2012 10:50AM

    God Bless your day Pastor Mike,
I Love the "Prince of Peace”.
emoticon emoticon

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TRUNKJUNK 12/7/2012 10:47AM

    Jesus is the reason for the Season

Pastor Mike - great job

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VISUALLYRICS 12/7/2012 10:31AM

    emoticon emoticon I am so glad He came! emoticon emoticon

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SANDRALEET 12/7/2012 8:48AM

    When the devil mixes in some wrong we loss all because its not pleasing to God

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IAM_HIS2 12/7/2012 8:38AM

    You know how I feel--we have NOT gone Christmas shopping yet. Also, we are busy making our own Christmas cards what express the true meaning of Christmas and many of our gifts we are making. I am working hard to bring the true meaning of Christmas to my children.

We are having fun doing the Jesse Tree this year and our daily Advent prayers. This year we are preparing to welcome the Christ child, Jesus into our lives and heart. I will read your blog to my children tonight and their will be a discussion.

Come Lord, Jesus into our hearts and lives this Christmas.


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GAMMY98 12/7/2012 7:42AM

    Beautiful blog this morning. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas

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MARYBETH4884 12/7/2012 6:12AM

    Thank you for your message this morning!

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KAYDE53 12/7/2012 12:12AM

    If this 3rd world person went on Black Friday, they would think we're were all about pushing & shoving and/or fighting & cursing our way to the "best" deal. What a witness, that is! Or on a regular day, they would think it was all about Santa, and whining children wanting this & that and wanting it now, not even wanting to wait for Santa. I pray that I give a better witness of the true meaning of Christmas than this to my family & others than either of two prior examples!! Merry Christmas to you too!

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STORMIWEATHER 12/6/2012 11:16PM

    Enjoyed your post

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NELLIEC 12/6/2012 11:02PM

    Since all of my "children" are now adults, we try to give what is needed, rather than just wanted. My oldest son for a couple of years now has said that he has everything he needs so he prefers for us to give a donation to Heifer International to send chickens, or goats, or cows, etc. to poor families in other countries so the gift will make a difference in the lives of people who are having a hard time surviving.

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DONNACFIT 12/6/2012 10:48PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing! Christmas blessings to you and your family!!

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LUCINDARW 12/6/2012 10:16PM

    Thank you for the wonderful message and sharing it with us. I shall be retelling the story to my Grandchildren as we get closer to Christmas. Thanks again and hope you Have a Merry CHRISTmas too. Lucinda

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NDTEACHER1 12/6/2012 10:08PM

    This is certainly food for thought. Thank you so much for posting this.

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