Devoted to sharing the Word of God - in uplifting, informative and encouraging posts.
" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Friday 20 December 2019

The Why of Christmas?

Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth, yet He is often banished these days, out of hearts and homes, stores and public locations.
Yes .... back into the humble stable as at His birth. 
However Christmas is more than an excuse for a holiday and getting together for a celebration!

Have you noticed how often Christians reflect in their Christmas a replica of the world’s view?
These dear folk are reading and believing the world's words and thoughts on the season, more than God’s Word and truth.
"As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Prov. 23:7a (Link here)

As Christians we are according to 1 Pet. 2:9 “peculiar people”. 
So if a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ stands out from the run of the mill, there is a reason. Jesus did, Peter, Paul, James, John all did.
We are meant to be different, we are to be Salt and Light, as Jesus was. A strong*personal* dislike of mine at Christmas is the proliferation of Santa, supplanting Jesus.
I saw this image below on FB and thought it particularly apt! Few werec ready at Jesus' first advent, so at His second!
This image refers to
 the claim that Santa has the Divine attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of Santa (from song - link here - Santa Claus is coming to Town. 1934).
I won’t put up a Santa card if they happen to come. St Nicholas never claimed to be as God, seeing all, able to be everywhere,  do anything..
It's not the original St Nicholas that is the problem, it's the remake - the modern Santa, with the Divine claims, and much more, in its myth of today (or perhaps as Peter said the “cunningly devised fables.. 2Pet 1:16).
Rearrange the letters perhsp, to see who is behind this false replica.. Satan (of course it's so in English, perhaps not other languages, Santa is actually Spanish for female saint). 
The character man has created created is not simply a nice cutesie image! 
I believe it’s an evil device to distract from God's truth in Christ Jesus, our Saviour and Lord. 
I see the main purpose of celebrating the Christ of Christmas as a time of outreach to those who don't know the Lord Jesus yet.
You see, Christmas is a special time of year, I love to celebrate the birth of Christ! 
With perhaps a *tree (*am aware of its relationship to pagan Yule log, but it does not claim the attributes of God!), Nativity scene, even some presents under the tree.
I love most of all the joyous singing of Bible-based Carols with real worship of Christ our Lord. 
But how far removed is much of today's celebration from the humble beginnings of the King of Glory?
He came from Glory, not in middle of winter (shepherds don’t watch their sheep in the field in a Middle East winter) but in warmer season, to a humble stable, & was laid in a hay filled manger. 
It was the time of a Roman census, so know roughly the year but not date, for a reason - I think the Lord God put the date under Deut 29:29 (see link).
Mary at this time saw only in part: not as we do looking back - Christmas to Easter, through birth into death, then new life again, the defeat of death, at Christ’s resurrection. 
Seeing it from Mary’s point of view is quite different.
The greater the trial and sorrow, the greater the blessing given from our Father God, for He sees what we cannot.
(Joy to World - Link here if link above doesn't work.)
Christ came in human form, in complete submission to His Father's will.
He yielded to the frailties of human flesh all the way to the cross. 
Mary was told that her soul would be pierced through with the suffering to come.
Luke 2:34-35
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
 This prophecy at Jesus' birth for Israel is still being fulfilled today, and also around the world. This virgin birth  of God's own Son is indeed "a sign which shall be spoken against"!

So in this celebration **may we differ from the world!
**May we shine the clear, pure light of Christ's birth, coming as Redeemer of mankind, as Emmanuel. "God With us".
**May only the Lord Jesus Christ be lifted up and no other replica to replace Him, or even be along side Him!
What would Jesus do with the God-dishonouring trappings we tolerate?
I think of the cleansing of the temple of merchandise, trading, money exchangers. 
There  Jesus cast out something not instituted of God.
Oh, may we each likewise do so in our hearts.. maybe the Santa, or is something we suddenly realise we have been  putting ahead ... or simply along side our love for our Saviour. 

"O LORD, thank You so much for the wonderful gift of Thy dear Son. 
May our hearts prepare Thee room, LORD, as the carol says! 
May You alone be our  focus this Christmas season, not simply preparing room for the décor of the world. 
May we be Thy servants alone, and shine as true, pure lights before all, and may souls be won for Thee, O LORD, by Thy blessing at this time upon so many outreaches.
In Jesus' precious Name we thank Thee, LORD, Amen."
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, our Lord and our Saviour.
Christmas is remembering this, as able, with God's family, as well as our own family and friends Whom God has given us.
How blessed are we!

O may we walk this Christmas time, and every moment of every day God gives in the presence of Emmanuel "God with us" (Mat. 1:23).
For when God is truly with us, we will live for Him and love Him only.
May the Lord bless your day, I pray this  has blessed you, if so, and you've time please let me know.
Prayer hugs, 🙏🤗🙏🤗
Shaz in Oz.x

PS. Sorry this long.. however, I'd love to pray with you today for your country,  as its needy too, but would you also pray with me for Aust, especially our state NSW - a few hours ago as I write this, two volunteer firefighters died near midnight! 
  Story here - burnt tree fell caused truck to roll

A number of others were badly injured when their truck engulfed by the fire. Also many homes destroyed yesterday in fires (over 800 homes destroyed since fires began in Sept.) There are over 100 fires burning in NSW, some 4 months old. One fire alone has burnt 430,000 hectares (or over one million acres, yes, just one fire) AND it's still out of control. 
We need prayers for **repentance **revival and **rain, rain rain in Oz. 

O may the God of all mercies have mercy, may our Father God comfort those who've lost dear ones, or brave firies injured or homes lost,  and may our gracious Father save their souls. 
Truly it's God alone we need! 

PS . If you haven’t I'd love it you to join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.  Thank YOU to those who have done so already. It really encourages me to keep on.
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Mehrll said...

I always appreciate your blog. It is Christ centered. I too have nothing to do with Santa and will not use the greeting "Happy Holidays". It is all about the Christ of Christmas.The day our Saviour was born. Have a blessed Christmas time, Shaz. I am praying that the rain will come and put out the fires. Hugs from Muddleheaded Maz.

Conniecrafter said...

I think of myself as a Christian but i will have to say that I was brought up as a child also knowing of Santa, although our home was Christ centered. When bringing up our daughter we did have a gift from santa for her, she is now getting her Doctorate in theology so I will have to say I don't think that totally keeping santa out of things makes you a sinner, as long as the only reason for this Holiday is Jesus. I use all kinds of images on the front of my cards but the inside always has a sentiment about Jesus and only Jesus.

So sorry to hear of the loss of more firefighters, they have such a rough road ahead of them, you all have been in my prayers.

ShazInOzCardsCalligraphy said...

Dear sweet sister,
Where we put Santa at Christmas is a personal conviction only. I feel strongly about it, others do not.
If we are His children by faith in the dear Lord Jesus, the Lord understands us, we are answerable to Him alone and not each other.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your comments throughout this first year of the Wonderful Words blog. They often come whenI I need it the most.
God bless your Christmas time dear sis, I pray God's blessing on you too.
I prayed much ovdr this post as didnt want to hurt dear ones..
Thanks for being a blessing.
Prayer hugs.

Cheryl said...

My dear parents raised me in a Godly home, and they would not allow me to think Santa Claus was real. When I got older, I heard how if parents tell their children there is a real Santa, then later they find out he is not real, they may not believe Jesus is real, either. It surely takes a lot of wisdom to raise a balanced child to love and honor Jesus and to know how to navigate through this dark, evil, consumerism-driven world. We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, and I believe the precious Holy Spirit is always faithful to an honest soul. My husband and I have never told our son Santa is real, but we certainly allowed him to cherish and enjoy the Christmas season, always very careful and mindful that Jesus is the reason for the season. I am SO thankful He came, not as a grown-up, but as a baby, so He walked through every season of life to know how we feel and what we go through. He means everything to me. The fires sound just awful. It was so sad to read of the ones who died and have suffered such losses. God please have mercy.

kiwimeskreations said...

Your have touched on a topic that resonates with me Shaz - I always taught my children that we give gifts at Christmas to remember that God gave us Jesus. They do not perpetrate the myth of santa in their families today either, although they are not as convicted as I am.
Like you I will not put Santa on a card at all, I only use nativity scenes or images that point to Jesus.
Be encouraged to continue to speak up on your beliefs as we head into a New Year - I so enjoy your posts, precious sister
Thank you for your beautiful card - it arrived the other day.

Anne said...

It is so important to remain focused on the birth and death of Jesus, for without His death and resurrection, His birth would be meaningless, just another cute little baby. Your post raises some important issues, I am not in full agreement with perhaps the way these come across but this is something where we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide each one of us. My husband over-ruled my decision when I said that I did not want our son to believe in Father Christmas. Our son did not suffer because of this and he does believe in Jesus and knows, from his earliest understanding that Christmas is about Jesus. But oh his little face when I told him that Father Christmas was not real,it hurts me to this day even though it doesn't bother him. Happy Christmas everyone, may the peace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Sunshine Country said...

Thank you for this post. I grew up without celebrating Christmas (as a conviction my parents have to not take part in the way the world remembers the birth of Christ such as the tree, Santa, etc.) - but they still acknowledge the opportunities it gives to share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at this time of year. We just need to remember to tell others He is no longer just a baby in the manger, but the risen Lord of all. My parents always told us that these verses in Romans encourage us to not condemn others who view the day as unto the Lord, even though we ourselves were of the view to "regard not the day" as unto the Lord. "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it." It is a blessed time though, to remember to be thankful in wonder for the Lord of Heaven and earth coming and taking on flesh Himself that He has created - too amazing to comprehend.

By the way...I left two comments on a previous post a few days ago, but neither are showing up. Wasn't sure if they came through? If not, I'm sorry about that.

Betsy said...

Good Morning dear Shaz. This can be such a controversial topic. With our first two children we did do the "Santa" thing, although Jesus came first. When our third child was born the older two aready knew the truth and so we never took part in the telling about Santa with him. We had been convicted that if we "lied" to him about Santa, would he also think Jesus was a lie? After all, he couldn't see Jesus and you "saw" Santa everywhere. It never hurt him one bit and he never told others the truth.
It's so important that people understand why we celebrate. The world celebrates Christmas, but not the Christ of Christmas and it saddens me. Someday every knee will bow and know the truth.
I am in prayer for Oz and the horrible fires. I will add prayers for the families of those dear people.

Anne said...

Your slight adjustments have made this post so much clearer and gentle in Spirit as I know that you are! Bravo! We were reading an article that makes a very good case for Jesus being born on the 25th December, and laid in the normal stone feeding troughs of the day. I have also read/listened to two accounts of what the swaddling wrap was. Apparently in those times thin linen cloth was carried, normally tucked into a belt of some of the men, for emergencies. This was particularly used if someone died on a long journey. The burial wrap was this type of swaddling cloth, so the analogy being that baby Jesus was wrapped in this type of cloth carried by Joseph. We shall never know for certain of course. With all the worldy trappings of Christmas, Father Christmas included, we must stay focused on the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. I'm not a 'santa fan' but I am letting God do the changing within each of us and praying for those who have lovingly sent cards to come to know the real reason for Christmas....and He ain't in a red suit...! Our prayers continue daily for your country during this time xx