Monday, December 5, 2016

YOU MEAN WE CRUCIFIED THE PAGANS?

Haven’t had one of these in years. As always, so many Christians are going to swallow this devotional hook, line and sinker. What’s said in commentary here is in hopes of at least reaching some of those people, though I know most would rather cling to what they’re comfortable with than actually think about anything. For those unfamiliar, paragraphs featuring my comments will be headed by my initials.

Who Started Christmas?

"On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us."
2 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)

A friend told me about a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After hours of scanning the shelves of toys, and everything else imaginable, and after hearing her children begging for all the things they wanted, she finally made it to the elevator. The doors opened and typically, the elevator was packed with people. But she managed to squeeze in with her bags and children. When the doors closed she let out an exhausted sigh and said, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot!" From the back of the elevator a voice responded, "Don't worry, we already crucified him!"

AH: First of all, you know this story never happened.

AH: Notice how the woman is made out to be the bad guy, just because she’s exasperated with all the stress and busyness this time of the year brings.

AH: “It’s too late. We already crucified Him.” Don’t you just love zeal without wisdom?

AH: Jesus, in fact, did not start Christmas. Christmas has its roots in the Roman Satturnalia celebration, a commemoration of the Winter Solstice still observed by pagans today.

In the busyness of the season it's easy to forget who started Christmas. Cards have to be written and mailed out, special treats cooked (and tasted!), parties attended, shopping bags filled, the tree trimmed, lights hung, relatives phoned, the dog groomed, the snow shoveled, the house cleaned, and more. It's tiring just thinking about it!

AH: Again, Jesus didn’t start Christmas and didn’t command us to do all the things we do to celebrate his supposed birthday these days. In fact, Jeremiah specifically speaks against the Christmas tree.

AH: Did you ever think about whose idea it was to add all these traditions to our Saviour’s un-Biblical birth in the first place? Look it up.

AH: In addition, I bet a lot of people, like the fictitious woman on the elevator, have had enough of all the things in this list as well. Look around you; really observe people. Let’s face it, when your working three jobs just to make ends meet and you have to be on the Equal Billing Plan for your heat and a discount for your hydro just so you can keep the bills paid, your Christmas card list, baking, parties, and all the usual celebratory activities are going to seem a lot more trivial and maybe even less necissary.

Which is why we need to keep a clear focus: Christmas isn't about us; it's about Him. It's about the Word who became flesh. It's about the One who left a spotless castle for a dirty stable. It's about the One who exchanged the worship of angels for the company of liars, thieves and killers. It's about the One who swapped the splendor of heaven for the straw of a barn. It's about the One who can hold the universe in the palm of His hand but gave that up to float in the womb of a teenage girl. And it's about the sinless One who came to die for sinners like you and me.

AH: Actually , Christmas is about the Catholic church compromising with the pagan Romans to make the day of the sun the day of the Son and putting a Christian spin on a bunch of pagan rituals so that all the pagans who, by imperial decree, were now Christians wouldn’t get in an uproar.

AH: I thought Easter was about all those above-mentioned things. Actually, since Easter is itself another pagan holiday compromised into Christian tradition, we might want to question our celebration of that, too.

So let's not forget who started Christmas or why He started it. Remember Him when you're lighting a candle, wrapping a gift, or carving the turkey. Think about Him in the Mall when you hear Santa's, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" And keep Him in mind when you're singing, "Chestnuts roasting On an Open Fire."

AH: Yes, let’s not forget who actually started Christmas, Easter and a whole bunch of so-called Christian traditions that not only aren’t Biblical but actually take our focus off of Jesus, just as all the trappings of the holiday season tend to do.

At the end of the day Advent is about putting Jesus first. After all, He put us first. He started it all when He humbled Himself and became a man - a man who lived and died as the once-for-all sacrifice for our sin. Praise the Lord! The salvation of our lives was more important than the saving of His life. He gave up His glory so we could go to glory. That's the rub. Christ started Christmas because our souls were His highest concern . . .

(Dr. Lawson Murray Director – Scripture Gift Mission Canada)

Folded Corner: December 2016
To All –Family, Friends and Colleagues - 
- We wish you a Joyous Christmas and Blessed New Year serving the King of Kings.  With hearts full of gratitude for His unmerited love, saving grace and keeping power-
Jim and Cathy Clemens
AH: If you really want to put Jesus first, why not look in the Bible and see how Jesus wants to be worshipped, rather than going with religious tradition because that’s what you were taught and you like it.

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