Say “Merry Christmas”

A week ago, a friend sent a link to an entertaining Christmas song. At first, I chuckled and enjoyed it. I honestly didn’t give it much thought.

This morning, I am considering a good story, on Christmas. It’s Christmas and NOT Xmas. The lovely little Christmas song came to mind. I decided to give “Say Merry Christmas” a second look. I didn’t just revisit the link; I looked up the actual YouTube page. What did I find? Continue reading “Say “Merry Christmas””

Christmas Day Is About Celebrating Hope!

Christmas Day is fast coming and you’d think my blog would be filled with Christmas related stories.  So far, I managed to write two Christmas related story, this month.  It’s not like that day isn’t special or I don’t have reasons to rejoice.  It is special and I do have a reason to rejoice.

A few days ago, I came across someone who was agitated at the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th. I already knew it wasn’t the actual date.  “Did you ever consider the Christian symbolism behind that particular day?”, I asked.  Christ symbolism?  What does this have to do with rejoicing on Christmas Day?

First, I do know of Pope Gregory and Constantine choosing to to “christianize” an existing pagan holiday. I discovered this, years ago.  I, also took notice of the irony in choosing a day that’s just before New Year.

In case you don’t know, Winter Solstice is really a couple of days before Christmas Day and it’s marked as the darkest day of the whole year.  It is a day with the fewest amount of sunlight. After it, the days steadily become brighter and brighter.

Jesus was born  during the time of Augustus Ceaser.  Things were quite dark for those not born a Roman citizen.  Israel was in despeate need of a deliver from this oppressive regime. Truth is, we were all in desperate need of being rescued from our sins.  Sound familiar?

Yet, all is not lost.  Hope has come into the world and He came at our darkest hour.  Because of Hope, everything has changed!  Because of Jesus, we can look forward to our days becoming brighter and brighter.  Because of Jesus, We can look forward to a new beginning. Here is why:

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among menwith whom He is pleased.” [Luke 2:10-14] of Jesus, I have been redeemed from the clutches of a far worse oppressor than Rome.  Jesus is my true Hope and the reason that I rejoice on Christmas Day.  Truth is, we should rejoice on all 365 days and not just one.

As for the actual day, I am not overly concerned if it was in March or December. Let’s focus on why Jesus came and not on foolish arguements over dates.  Let’s remember, God, the Father gave us, a wonderful gift on that fateful day.  Let’s receive it, with gladness and joy.

Are We Forgetting The Reason For Christmas?

I am sitting here and considering what to write.  It is in my heart to write something about the birth of Jesus and why He came. Why not? Is not the celebration on December 25th called Christmas Day? Is not Jesus, the reason we celebrate it?

I was originally considering writing something about Mary and why she is called “blessed”.  According to Jesus, it is because Mary heard the words of God and was obedient:

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” [Luke 11:27-28]

It is worth remembering that Mary showed an incredible amount of balls when she chose to say “yes” to God.  In those days, a woman found pregnant and no husband would have received the death sentence.  As I said, she showed a tremendous amount of courage and she was blessed for it.  The same could be said of her fiance, Joseph.

Instead, I find myself drawn into a foolish controversy over the naming of a tree.  If an alien landed on this planet; he’s likely to think Christmas was about a tree; rather than about Jesus.  He’d never guess with the loudness surrounding the Christmas Tree v. holiday tree debate.

That tree has nothing to do with why I celebrate Christmas. Are we not supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus?  Are we not supposed to be filled with joy over why Jesus came?  Are we not to celebrate the good news of Jesus birth?

What good news? Try reading Luke 2:8-14:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 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 of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This 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,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

I, for one do not like calling Christmas Tree, a holiday tree. It is pure foolishness and it doesn’t just offend Christians.  From a general check on the Internet, I’d say that Muslims and others don’t like it, either.

Let’s call it, what it is and move on. It’s a Christmas Tree.  As I already said, this debate is both foolish and a major distraction from the real reason for the season.  Let’s be bold and not timid and share the real reason for celebrating Christmas Day.

Remember, it is not about the tree; it is about Jesus.

The Christmas Rush

On December 14th, I joined in the madness called Christmas shopping at the local WalMart.  The store was fairly crowded, as one can expect for this time of year.  Everyone was hurrying to locate that special gift. In all the scurrying about, I could not help but ask “Am I remembering the reason that I celebrate Christmas?”  Is not Christmas more than having a shopping cart full of toys and other items?

Continue reading “The Christmas Rush”