DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS. #4.
Christ was content with a stable when He was born, so that we could have a mansion when we die. - Source Unknown.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. - Isaiah 9:6-7.
In Support of a Sentimental Christmas - Getting Rid of the Bah Humbugs…
Many years ago the Puritans thought that they were ruining Christmas with all their pagan rituals. They especially objected to the fact that the holiday usually came on a week day, therefore distracting people, they thought, from the Lord's Day of Sunday. But they did more than annually complain about it as we do. They took action and got rid of Christmas altogether.
In Puritan settlements across 17th century America a law was passed outlawing the celebration of Christmas. The market place was ordered to stay open for business as though it were no special occasion and all violators were prosecuted. It was against the law to make plum pudding on December 25th. The celebration was not referred to as Yuletide but as fooltide.
So we want to reform Christmas and clean it up do we? Well, is this how far we want to go? Do we really want to be rid of it altogether. Then will Christmas, as the Puritans thought, be saved from us and our sinful ways. So what if we spend $40 billion annually on presents. Can you think of a better way of spending all that money than on gifts of love? And most of them are just that. And so what is all the lights and tinsel does create a fairy tale setting that soon disappears as does the so called Christmas spirit. At least it lets us know, if only for a brief time, what life can be like if we only try.
So let the message ring out this day, not that we are destroying this holy day, but rather, that we can never destroy this day. Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be for all generations. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.
Take the year 1809. The international scene was tumultuous. Napoleon was sweeping through Austria; blood was flowing freely. Nobody then cared about babies. But the world was overlooking some terribly significant births.
For example, William Gladstone was born that year. He was destined to become one of England's finest statesman. That same year, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. The child would one day greatly affect the literary world in a marked manner. On the American continent, Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
And not far away in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe began his eventful, albeit tragic, life. It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert. And that same year produced the cries of a newborn infant in a rugged log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky. The baby's name? Abraham Lincoln.
If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I'm certain these words would have been heard: "The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today." But history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America.
Similarly, everyone thought taxation was the big new, when Jesus was born. But a young Jewish woman cradled the biggest news of all: the birth of the Savior. - Adapted from Charles Swindoll.
Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value: Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone, "I love you." Give something away, anonymously. Forgive someone who has treated you wrong. Turn away wrath with a soft answer. Visit someone in a nursing home. Apologize if you were wrong. Be especially kind to someone with whom you work. Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy. - Charles Swindoll.
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song.
Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given,
While angels sing with pious mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
- Martin Luther.
Loving Father, thank you for sending Jesus. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remember that Christmas is all about Jesus my Lord; He is the Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings. I ask this in the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.