Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Season’

Video-Meaning of Christmastide

21 Dec


Fourth Sunday of Advent-Dec 24

21 Dec

Protect-(Ezekiel 34:15-16, 22-28, & II Kings 6:15-18) The good shepherd will watch over His flock and protect them. He will drive the wild beasts from among them so the sheep may dwell in peace and not be afraid. In the same way, God promised to drive the evil ones from among His people so they might live in peace. More important, His love will drive the hatred and bitterness from our hearts, which create divisions among us. While not all hatred and bitterness will be wiped out until Christ comes, it should not exist within the church if we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. There should be no  strife and bitterness among brothers and sisters in Christ who are filled with the love of Christ. Christmas should be a time when the church gathers to celebrate Christ’s love for us. As the result, the world will see the love we have for one another and desire that love. Unfortunately, few churches today exhibit that love openly.



Third Sunday of Advent-Dec 17

13 Dec

Lead-(Psalm 23:3b)The Lord will lead us in the path of righteousness. He came to show us the way to live in peace with each other and will lead us like a shepherd leads his sheep. The good shepherd does not drive the sheep in front of Him but goes before them and they follow because they know His voice. In the same way, the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of the believer  and Christ speaks through the Spirit. . If we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us,  He will lead us in the way that Christ would have us go and we will follow because we recognize His voice.  Before Christ came, God sent the Prophets and the Scripture writers to show people how to live but man could not understand because he did not understand what love was, so Christ came to earth as a man to show us the way to live. By the same token, if  we follow Christ, others will see His love in us  and desire that love. You cannot force people to love each other but you can gently lead them and show them the way.



Second Sunday of Advent-Dec 10

06 Dec

Feed-(Ezekial34:13-14, Matt. 14:13-21) God will gather His sheep on the mountains and feed them on the rich pastures. Everyone likes to eat, and it is a good time to fellowship but there are many who do not have the food they need. When 5000 people gathered on the mountainside to hear Jesus, He saw that they were hungry and had compassion on them and fed them. By the same token, there are many hungry among us. Christmas is a good time to provide food for them that they too might be able to enjoy the holiday, but we should not forget them when the holiday is over because hunger for many is a way of life which lasts all year long. Many communities have food banks that supply food to those in need and they need regular donations to be able to supply the need. Things like potatoes are sometimes on sale, buy one get one free. You might not be able to use the other bag before it spoils. Pick it up and donate it to the food bank, or someone you know struggling to make ends meet. Churches can have regular collections to donate. In addition, we should not just provide food but work to help them to provide for their own needs through employment counseling and job referrals. However, the Bible says “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We should not only provide food, but the Good News of the Gospel as well.


Christmas Displays

03 Dec

As my wife and I seek out light displays, we are struck by the fact that they are almost all lights and no message. Fifty years ago when my wife and I would drive around, most decorated yards had a theme of some kind relating to Christmas, whether religious or secular. We were often amused by unusual displays like Santa riding a rocket ship or cartoon characters  around a decorated Christmas tree. Most people who decorate today put up light displays to make something pretty to look at, but the light displays provide only a momentary relief from the growing darkness all around us. It cannot dispel the darkness in our souls. Christmas was started on the shortest day (longest night) of the year to remind us that Christ came to dwell among us when things were at their darkest in order to bring new life into our lives. As you put up your lights this year, think about putting in a display, even a simple one, to tell people that there is more to Christmas then artificial lights. I have made a little booklet with patterns for the elements of a manger scene that can be expanded to paint on a board, cut out figures to prop up in the yard or cover over a large glass window with silhouettes cut out and covered with tissue paper so the light in the room makes the figures visible to those outside. As life becomes more difficult, people are searching for hope. Many people offer false promises of hope but they cannot deliver. Jesus offers the hope that will deliver. Advent begins the celebrations of what we believe. Follow me through the year on a journey to eternal life as we explore all the major beliefs of the Christian church.


Fourth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 29

27 Jan

Sharing Christ Most Christians do not talk about church or the Gospel outside of church for fear of offending someone, so most people don’t know whether their neighbors attend church or not. While many Christians assume their neighbors attend a church somewhere, the fact is that most probably do not. If your neighbors attend church, their church may not provide fellowship and support and they may welcome friendship with other Christians, or their church may be too far away for them to participate in many church activities. If they do not attend church, they may be seeking a church but not know anyone who belongs to one providing an opportunity to invite them. Many of their neighbors have not had any contact with a church and do not have any reason to seek one. Those without Christ often live day to day, their only hope is to survive until tomorrow. They will not know that Christ can made a difference in their life until they see that it has made a difference in your life. As you visit your neighbors, you can witness to them about the benefits of attending church and may even get a chance to tell them about Christ.                                                                      


Second Sunday of Epiphany-Jan 15

11 Jan


When we read the Gospels, we often see the teachings and miss what Jesus does. If we read them closely, we will notice that He met needs as He went along. He healed the blind man, the crippled man, and the leper. He also fed the people. He did it primarily because He cared about them, but He also did it because He knew those needs distracted those people from hearing what He had to say. Until He broke down the barrier, they could not concentrate on what He was saying. By meeting the need, He not only broke down the barrier, He also built a bridge to that person. Those people passed many people as they traveled but those people were only nameless faces, soon forgotten. Jesus was someone they would not soon forget. He wasn’t a nameless face, He was the one that healed them or fed them. He was the one who cared when no one else did. We have become accustomed to the government providing all those services, but we forget that Christians met those needs first and only later did the government become involved. Now we have all but given up our ministry to the government and people worship the government instead of God. The prevailing feeling among many Christians today, as well as non-Christians is “The government is my shepherd, I shall not want, It maketh me lie down in a nice house, and It provideth me with good food.”  Christ modeled the way we should live, unfortunately, all we like sheep have gone astray.



First Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 8

04 Jan

Reveal the Reason- When my wife and I were young, we would go out before Christmas to see the light displays. They depicted all kinds of things from Manger scenes to Santa Claus scenes and many others. Today, there are far fewer displays, and most are just lights. They are nice to look at but not nearly as interesting. Christmas is an excellent time to put up a display of the manger scene. Liberals have gotten them banned from a lot of public places, so it is up to churches and individual Christians to remind people why we celebrate Christmas. Children are curious. They may ask you, why do you have a display of people in the front yard? It gives you the opportunity to tell the Christmas story of how God sent Jesus to help us. Start planning now to be a witness for Christ next Christmas. Buy a commercial one or build your own. Christmas cards also give an opportunity to remind people why we celebrate. Now is a good time to get them because stores are getting rid of their Christmas stock at sale prices



Meaning of Epiphany-Video-Jan 6

04 Jan


First Sunday of Christmastide-Jan 1

28 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, or 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.