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12/18/2022 - Left Hand Page #11, 3d in the 2022 Christmas Series

"Celebrating for Christmas

Some think that participation in such festive days as Christmas and Easter is nothing more than ritualistic, heathen practice and religious tradition. I disagree. A careful study of the scriptures reveals many God-ordained occasions of feasting and celebration. Don't be mistaken... God isn't a Scrooge, nor is He a Saintly Santa, but he is a happy God (I Timothy 1: 11 - the word "blessed" means happy), commited to your happiness, and the birth of His Son Jesus made it all possible (Luke 2:14). Jesus Christ has introduced light into darkness, and life in the midst of death. Through the penetrating, revealing light of God, the possibility of this season's celebration can be realized; free from the greed and gaity that tends to be surface and short term. For that reason we celebrate.

Celebrating with Certainty

There are certain things about the celebration of Christmas that are, frankly, hard to verify. We cannot, with certainty, establish a date on the calendar for our Lord's birth, but we chose to set aside December 25th as the day of our celebrating God's decision to become like man so man could become like God (John 3:16). Of that we are certain. His giving of the gift of His Son makes our giving that much more meaningful. We're learning to give like Him... in love.

Celebrating in Giving

We wouldn't for a minute try to establish a Biblical case for gift-giving as a Spirit directed means of Christmas celebration. But seeing's how we serve a gift-giving God (James 1:17), we believe it acceptable and proper to share gifts with one another as a testimony to the greatest Gift ever given. God gave the gift of His Son Jesus (John 3: 16); Jesus gave the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7); the Holy Spirit gave gifts as well (I Corinthians 12). Little wonder we, as [children] of God, are prone to to give also (Luke 6: 38).

Celebrating with Joy

I know some people dislike the candy, trees, and family fun; they say it's too artificial and a bit pagan. But we're learning that gathering around our tree is very symbolic of the way Jesus our Lord has made us one and brought us close together in Him (Luke 2: 14). The lights on our tree shine forth the message that He, the Light of the World, has come and we don't need to live in the dark anymore. We rejoice in that.

Ron Mehl"





 
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