Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shall We Celebrate??

From the scriptures we see that God set-up many feasts in the Old Testament. They celebrated seven different "feasts": Passover, unleavened bread, first fruits, Pentecost, trumpets, atonement and harvest. They had instructions on what to wear, what to eat, what scriptures to read aloud, etc. God was very specific about how He wanted the celebrations carried out…but my point is: they had celebrations (people even had time off work!).
Today the celebration of the birth of Jesus doesn't seem to coordinate with any one specific Old Testament feast....and yet, God seemed to orchestrate an "out-of-this-world" celebration by sending angels heralding the news to shepherds and later bringing kings from foreign lands bearing gifts. The world has followed suit by using music and the giving of gifts---which is, more often than not, corrupted by drunken materialism.
So, the question to be considered is: should we celebrate His birth? …and, if so, how do we best do that?
You are so right: it is a great struggle. In our singing and our giving we tend to blend right in with the rest of the world. We stress, over-eat, over-spend, wink at Santa Claus, and end up hating or resenting the whole thing that should have made us more joyful, peaceful, and rested! (Resting in the finished work of the cross!) But that’s just it: it’s the cross, His DEATH and RESURRECTION, which made His BIRTH meaningful to begin with! Without His death and resurrection, which paid for our sin and set us free from its bondage, His birth would just be like any other baby in history. Further, without the uniqueness of His virgin birth, His death would mean nothing because then He would have been just like the rest of us…hopelessly lost in our own sin.
Therefore, I believe that any celebration of His birth---without the corresponding celebration of His death and resurrection---is meaningless. We must not leave Him “wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger”, without pointing to the grave clothes in the empty tomb! ……and because of that….we sing and give gifts of celebration!

Monday, December 12, 2005

An Old-Fashioned Christmas...or is it?

Toys from our past~

Every year I just love seeing how other people decorate their homes for Christmas. The lights, the colors, the glow of candles, the music....all creates an atmosphere of joy and peace. Well, this year everything has changed at our fact, our HOUSE has changed!....therefore, I took a new turn ("twist"??) in decorating for Christmas. What do you think?

Let's how many wise men were there?