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Archive for the ‘Christmastide’ Category

Video-study course-Christian Celebrations-promo

22 Jun

I have a course on Basic Christian Beliefs for new Christians and as a refresher for long-time Christians, which is posted on Udemy.

It is available by posting the following link in your browser.

https://www.udemy.com/course/christian-celebrations/?referralCode=D706C0B4E96819B18699

 

Second Sunday of Christmastide-Jan 2

31 Dec

Those who feel forgotten.  Christmas is a time when we remember that Christ came to His people to reveal the nature of God and to show us a better way to live; a way of peace and love. This should be a time when we should draw together as a family and draw together as a church family. We need to bring some light into their life just as Christ brought light into the world for us. We should seek those around us who will not know the joy of Christmas unless we share it with them We need to take time to reach out to those around us who may be alone, whose families are gone or far away, and have no friends close. By visiting, we remind them that we have not forgotten them and God has not forgotten them either. Some may be able to invite them to share Christmas with their family so they do not have to spend Christmas alone. There are also many who are burdened with heavy cares, or who have lost loved ones, are shut-in and cannot get out, and let them know they are not forgotten and are not alone. We need to bring some light into their life just as Christ brought light into the world for us. Some will not share the joy of Christmas because of financial needs and cannot afford special gifts. The church can help brighten their Christmas. A growing number of Christians are deciding that instead of giving each other gifts they don’t need, they will put that money into buying gifts for those that might not otherwise receive gifts, or by supporting Christmas programs by organizations in their local area like The Salvation Army, or abroad like Samaritan’s Purse or simply giving gifts to neighbors they know who might not otherwise know the joy of Christmas. Christmas is also a great time to teach your kids the value of giving and the greatest gift they can give is themselves. Volunteer as a family to help a local church, social service agency, day care, hospital, or nursing home. Many have special programs at Christmas that need volunteers.

 

First Sunday of Christmastide-Dec. 26

23 Dec

Why the Calendar  Many question why I use the Christian calendar for my messages. I am often accused of being tied to ritual, but I am not. I have very little interest in or use for ritual outside of Communion. Communion is special because God ordained it and commanded us to continue it. Even with Communion I am not tied to one tradition. I celebrate however those around me do, as long as it includes the basic elements instituted by Christ. (most, who celebrate it sincerely do, though they celebrate them in a multitude of different ways) I use the Christian calendar for three reasons. (1) It ensures that I cover all the major Christian teachings in a year. (2) It ensures that I do them in an orderly way, each one building upon another so it is easier to understand. (3) It is an order widely accepted by other Christians, so we are all on the same page. Though many holidays were added by men, the basic elements of the Jewish calendar and the Christian calendar were commanded by God and the fact that many churches today do not celebrate them (outside of Christmas and Easter) is one more indication that the church today no longer takes God’s Word seriously. (for more on the Christian holidays, see “Understanding the Path We Walk” which I published in 2015.

 

Christmas Day-Dec 25

20 Dec

Share the Joy Many will not share the joy of Christmas because they have no one who cares for them or they may live in poverty and cannot afford special gifts. Either way, we should seek those around us who will not know the joy of Christmas unless we share it with them. By visiting those who are lonely, we remind them that we have not forgotten them and God has not forgotten them either. If you know someone who will be alone this Christmas, invite them to share Christmas with your family. A growing number of Christians are deciding that instead of giving each other gifts they don’t need, they will put that money into buying gifts for those that might not otherwise receive gifts. They are supporting Christmas programs by organizations in their local area like The Salvation Army, and organizations abroad like Samaritan’s Purse or simply giving gifts to neighbors they know who might not otherwise know the joy of Christmas. Christmas is a great time to teach your kids the value of giving and the greatest gift they can give is themselves. Volunteer as a family to help a local church, social service agency, day care, hospital, or nursing home. Many have special programs at Christmas that need volunteers. Besides, people, especially children, like to be part of a celebration. If there is no good celebration, they will be drawn towards bad celebrations.

 

Second Sunday of Christmastide-Jan 2

30 Dec

Tell the Story-Many people will see the manger scene and not understand what it means because they have no church background. A large percentage of people today have not attended church and do not know anyone that they know of who attends church. Many Christians assume those they meet at work and at school attend church somewhere but few of them do. Few churches today have Christmas eve services but those that do usually include only members and do not include visitors. It is a great time to invite those who do not attend church to come and hear the Christmas story, especially those who have children. Christmas carols used to be sung in the schools and played in stores, but many have dropped or even banned those with a Christian message. Church members can get together and carol at nursing homes and in their neighborhood to tell the Christmas story. Songs should not be random but organized to tell the story.

 

 

Christmas Day Dec 25

16 Dec

Pagan Worship Some say we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas because it is a pagan holiday since it was started to replace a pagan holiday and has since deteriorated into a pagan holiday. We celebrate things that are important to us to remember them. We should not throw out our Christian celebration with the pagan rituals. Pagans worship their idols because they don’t know the true God and we should use the Christmas season to show unbelievers the true God just as Paul used the idol to the unknown god to explain to the Greeks the true God which they did not know. We can use the Christmas celebration to teach our children the true meaning of Christmas by introducing them to ways they can minister to others. The media is so aggressive in pushing its meaning and few children hear the real reason we celebrate Christmas. In addition, we can use it to let the world know that the Savior has come and they no longer need to be a slave to sin.

 

Previous Posts-1/12

28 Sep

This is the first in the series of previous posts and highlights
Christmas season, Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany
Click on the links below to access those series.

 

Christmas Season Summary

21 Feb

The early church was primarily Jewish and kept the Jewish traditions. Since Jewish tradition had focused on the coming of the Lamb that would take away the sins of the world (which Jesus fulfilled) and Jesus had foretold His second coming, those were the primary focus of the early church. As the second coming of Christ was delayed and persecution declined, the second coming faded as a major emphasis and celebrating the birth of Christ has gained momentum. The Christmas season was not part of the early church celebrations and developed later during the formation of the modern Christian calendar. It first appears as a minor holiday in the 4th Century, though there was discussion about the date of Christ’s birth prior to that date. The celebration gradually developed into three distinct holidays which form a unified whole. Advent is a time of preparing ourselves for celebrating the Coming of Christ, Christmastide begins with celebrating Christ’s birth (reminding us that God in Christ came down to us) and continues with celebrating God’s revelation to the Jews, and Epiphany which is a time of celebrating God’s revelation to the Gentiles and reaching out to those who don’t know Him. As Christmas has taken on the pagan trappings surrounding giving gifts, it has increased in importance while Advent and Epiphany have declined.

 

Christmastide Second Sunday Jan 5

03 Jan

Tell Them What You Heard-Christmastide is a time when we remember that God revealed Himself to His people. God could have come into the palace of a king but chose rather to come in the manger as a baby to remind us that He wants us to serve rather than to lord it over others. He revealed Himself first to the shepherds to remind us that He cares for the lowest shepherd, as well as the greatest king. Once the shepherds heard the good news, they immediately went and worshiped Him. Then they went and told everyone all they had heard and seen. During the worship service, do you feel the Lord’s presence? After the service, have you gone out and told anyone what you have heard and what you have seen the Lord do?

 

Chritmastide-First Sunday-Dec 29

29 Dec

Christmastide-Twelve Days of Christmas
Now that the commercial Christmas is over, we can relax and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas. Most people don’t realize that Christmas isn’t over, it actual runs for twelve days from Dec 25th to Jan 5th (few people think about the words in the song-“Twelve days of Christmas”). This time is called Christmastide and is a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas occurs on the shortest day of the year to remind us that when things were darkest and it seemed there was no hope, God came down to us in the form of a baby and dwelt among us. God revealed Himself to His people and He is with us. His presence changed the world forever. He isn’t someone up there in heaven, who is unreachable. He cared enough to come to us in our time of greatest need and is still here when we need Him