Thursday, 24 December 2009
MY CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO YOU!
Hello again folks! When I was growing up [last week?]; I never really understood the apparent tension between the Christmas story [i.e the nativity] and the myth/legend of Father Christmas et al. The two 'traditions' were entwined yet opposed. There is no better example of this than in the lyrics of Cliff's perennial hit: "Mistletoe & Wine":
"The child is a king, the carollers sing, The old has passed, there’s a new beginning. Dreams of Santa, dreams of snow, Fingers numb, faces aglow. Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, Children singing christian rhyme, With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree, A time for rejoicing in all that we see, A time for living, a time for believing, A time for trusting, not deceiving, Love and laughter and joy ever after, Ours for the taking, just follow the master. Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, Children singing christian rhyme, With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree, A time for rejoicing in all that we see, A time for giving, a time for getting, A time for forgiving and for forgetting. Christmas is love, Christmas is peace, A time for hating and fighting to cease. Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, Children singing christian rhyme, With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree, A time for rejoicing in all that we see ..." [end quote]
These familiar verses combine a heady mix of tradition and myth - with a sprinkling of truth. Cliff Richard and Alan Titchmarsh, to me, are better advocates for the churchianity that is the CoE than the archdruid of Canterbury ever has been. Taking aside that Jesus was not born on 25th December; this song proves out those immortal words:
"A false balance is an abomination to the LORD." [Proverbs 11:1]
Far too many children [and adults] see Christmas as a time for receiving stuff; visiting or being visited by Santa and doing 'traditional' things. But Christmas is about Christ. Full stop. He didn't come to bring peace [but He will one day yet future]; Yule logs [these originate from Babylonian religion - check it out for yourselves] on the fire and all the other familiar acts mentioned in the above song do not honour Christ in and of themselves. Jesus said that we [the children of the devil - see John 8:44] still do good to each other despite "being evil" ourselves.
My point is that "although this is the season to be jolly" [and there are God honouring things we can do]; it is really a poor shadow of the Truth. Real "Christ-mass" remembers the modest birth of the Saviour [probably during the Feast of Tabernacles in September/October]. The film: "The Nativity Story" released in 2006 was as accurate a depiction as you will ever see of those events nearly 2,000 years ago - in my humble opinion. Matthew 1:23 states this:
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
This, in turn, refers to Isaiah 7:14:
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
The scripture can actually be read: "God is tabernacled with us" - giving us a clue as to when He was really born. No shepherds worth their salt would be in their fields at night in December - even in Judah/Israel ... it can be freeeezing!
And we don't know how many wise men there were either ... or if they were there at the same time as those blessed shepherds [we don't know how many shepherds there were either - by the way]; but we do know how God engineered not a few miracles and fulfilled His Word - totally - for Messiah's First Advent [as He will for the Second Advent too!].
The real deal at 'Christmas' is to go back to basics. CHRIST the MESSIAH. Whatever you do in the next week or two; think on Him. Be evangelists; Be Bereans; DO NOT BE DECEIVED! and watch that periphery! God bless you and God bless Israel ... Keith JS ... 24-Dec-2009