Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Story

Quoted directly from the Holy Bible, King James Version:
From Luke 2: 1-20.

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Merry Christmas!

May you have a meaningful and blessed Christmas.

Here is a treat for you. The incomparable Cathedral Quartet singing  a cappella  "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from 1985.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmastime is here...

Well, my brothers and sisters, Christmastime is upon us once again.

Some people dread Christmas. Perhaps it is because the expectations are high. We are "supposed" to be happy. We are supposed to act merrily. We are pressured to spend money we don't have to give people things they may not want or need.

And then others love Christmas for its fanfare. They like the hustle and bustle. They love to bask in the lights and decorations. Nothing wrong with that. But it may not suit everyone's personality.

I have to admit I took myself out of all of this years ago. I got tired of it. I dreaded the superficiality of it all, the blatant commercialism, the pressure to "put on a happy face."

Don't get me wrong. I like a certain amount of decorations if they are for the purpose of getting at the real meaning of Christmas. My church is one of the most beautiful places at this time of year. Nothing too fancy, but absolutely beautiful. The adornments seem to encourage one to look beyond this world to the spiritual realm, the realm not seen with human eye, to see the hand of God, the love of God, and He reaches down to fallen humanity, and gives us the perfect gift of His only Son.

Take some time this Christmas to focus on Christ. Contemplate Him. Meditate upon Him. And be blessed. That way, none of this world's mixed up values will drag you down during this season of the year.

Merry Christmas one and all...