Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas : Separation, Purity, and Christmas

21 Dec

Christmas is a battleground for believers, with external and internal opposition to virtually every aspect of the season. Should we even celebrate such a contested holiday? And if so, how do we celebrate in a way that adorns the gospel?  http://ow.ly/W5Lap

Excerpt from Article:

“Christmas is a study in contrasts.

Snow is one of the prominent themes of the holiday, but most of the world doesn’t get snow in December, so people decorate with inflatable snowmen and twinkle lights meant to imitate icicles.

Christmas is hailed as a time of joy, love, and peace, but many feel profound sadness and strife due to lost loved ones and broken families. And in spite of it being a season of giving, the majority of advertisements and sales focus on fulfilling selfish, materialistic desires.

On TV, the contrasts are unmistakable. One channel broadcasts the nativity story while the next airs a debate over whether Jesus was anyone worth celebrating. And a parade of politicians and talking heads fight over where and when it is appropriate to celebrate Christmas, while others work overtime to celebrate every religion’s traditions.

But perhaps the most puzzling contrast is between believers—between those who celebrate the birth of Christ and those who argue that Christians should have no part in such a “pagan” holiday. In fact, some Christians oppose Christmas with as much (or more!) vigor as those who celebrate it.

The arguments are the same every year: Jesus wasn’t born on December 25; Jeremiah 10 condemns Christmas trees; Christmas is a Catholic mass created to syncretize with a Roman pagan feast; Christmas is a man-made feast while the biblical feasts are ignored. You’ve probably received some chain emails to that effect already this season.

In the face of such opposition, how should the rest of the church respond? Should we even bother to celebrate such a widely-contested holiday?

In a video blog last year, we asked John MacArthur that very question. As usual, his response cut right to the heart of the issue, pushing past the smaller matters that so often trip us up. He said:

In my view, any opportunity that we can have to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to grasp that opportunity. We would do well to celebrate His birth every single day. We would do well to proclaim His virgin birth, as God in human flesh, every day. But if the world wants to give us a day and a season in which the whole of humanity focuses on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would be foolish not to capitalize on that.

We waste such an opportunity when we contend with a godless culture for the traditional trappings of the holiday. It’s pointless to debate over seasonal terminology or fight to keep nativity scenes in front of government buildings. And it’s profoundly vain to complain about whether or not a popular coffee shop’s cups are decorated with vague allusions to the season—especially when that coffee shop has a history of promoting and supporting immoral causes….”

“All the traditions of Christmas are just that—traditions. Inasmuch as they foster loving relationships, generosity, and worship of the Savior, they are commendable. But if they cause us to be self-focused and distracted from what really matters, they should be set aside.

We should be single-minded, focused solely on Christ and the tremendous blessings we enjoy through Him. And we ought to look for any opportunity to extend the blessed news of the salvation He made possible to the world around us. How do we accomplish that when we waste so much time complaining about coffee cups and trees?”….

Read the full article here: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B151221
Grace to You Blog

 

Christmas…the Real Story :  A child born to die

 

 

 

 

 

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The Promise

21 Dec

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,  The light will shine on them.

Isaiah 9:2

The promise was love, and the promise was life to the world.
The name of the Promise was Jesus.

 

 

 

Story of the Candy Cane

13 Dec

Story of the Candy Cane
By Unknown Author

Long ago there were two villages in a far-off land. One was in a valley, and one was on a mountain top. The people in the mountain village wanted to give each person in the valley a Christmas gift. So the mountain towns people formed a committee to think of something special. Money was limited, and each gift had to be of equal value to each person. After much time and discussion a decision was finally reached. The town’s candy maker, an elderly gentleman who had loved Jesus for many years, came up with an idea – the candy cane. Now, you may be thinking, what is so special about a candy cane – and how can it ever be tied in with the real meaning of Christmas? Well, here is how – and why…

1. The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are His flock. A sheep follows his own shepherd, knows his voice, trusts him and knows that he is totally safe with him. The sheep will follow no other shepherd than their own. In the same way, if we belong to Jesus, we are to follow only Him. (John 10:11; Psalms 23:1; Isaiah 40:11)

2. Turned over, the candy cane is a “J,” the first letter of Jesus’ name. (Luke 1:31) It is made of hard candy to remind us that Christ is the “rock” of our salvation.

3. The wide red stripes on the candy cane represent the blood Jesus shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him. He restores us and cleans us with His shed blood – the only thing that can wash away our sin. (Luke 22:20)

4. The white stripes on the candy cane represent Jesus’ virgin birth and His pure, sinless life. He is the only human being ever who never committed a single sin, even though He was tempted just as we are. (1 Peter 2:22)

5. The narrow red stripes on candy canes symbolize Jesus’ stripes, or scars, which He got when He was arrested and whipped. The Bible says we are healed (of sin) because He took those wounds. (Isaiah 53:5 ; 1 Peter 2:24)

6. The flavoring in the candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice.
(John 19:29; Psalm 51:7)

7. When we break our candy cane, it reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us. When we have communion, it is a reminder of what He did for us. ( 1 Corinthians 11:24)

8. AND, if we share our candy cane and give some to someone else because we love that person, we are sharing the love of Jesus. (1 John 4:7,8,) God gave Himself to us when He sent Jesus to earth to save us. He loves us so much that He wants us to spend eternity with Him. We are assured of that when we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior. (John 1:12, John 3:3,16)

Some people believe this story of the candy cane is only a legend. Others believe it really happened this way. We do not know for sure exactly how the candy cane was invented, but one thing is certain… it is an excellent picture of Christ and His love for you. You can accept Jesus into your heart through a prayer like this:

Dear God, Thank You for loving me enough to send Jesus for Christmas. I believe Jesus died for my sins, and I accept Him now as my Savior. I promise to follow Him and share His love with others the best that I can. Amen.

From: Eternal Perspective Ministries, official site of Randy Alcorn
http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/25/story-candy-cane/