PDA

View Full Version : Christmas wishes



Bluesky
12-25-2012, 07:34 AM
In spite of all the rousing discusssions and sometimes not so rousing, I want to wish all of our Soonetters a great Christmas. This year we are blessed to have had all three of our daughters with son in law and grandchildren together in one place. What a blessing that was.

For the believers amongst us, I wish you the peace of Christ. For those who aren't... I still wish for you the peace of Christ and the blessing that He brings..

Something that is rarely thought of at Christmas is the fact that Jesus was not born into a very peaceful world. Bethlehem was chaotic, Rome was oppressive, and Mary and Joseph had to run for their lives to Egypt in order to escape King Herod's paranoia. Many other infants died so that Jesus could live and die for us. Here is a lengthy poem by John Piper illustrating that point.

Take the time to read it. I think you will be blessed.

Jake's wife would have been fifty-eight
The day that Jesus passed the gate
Of Bethlehem, and slowly walked
Toward Jacob's Inn. The people talked
With friends, and children played along
The paths, and Jesus hummed a song,
And smiled at every child he saw.

Folks said the inn
Had never been a place for sin,
For Jacob was a holy man.
And he and Rachel had a plan
To marry, have a child or two,
And serve the folk who traveled through,
Especially the poor who brought
Their meal and turtle-doves, and sought
A place to stay near Zion's gate.

They'd rise up early, stay up late,
To help the pilgrims go and come,
And when the place was full, to some
Especially the poorest, they would say,
"We're sorry there's no room, but stay
Now if you like out back. There's lots
Of hay and we have extra cots
That you can use. There'll be no charge.
The stable isn't very large
But Noah keeps it safe." He was
A wedding gift to Jake because
The shepherds knew he loved the dog.
"There's nothing in the decalogue,"
He used to joke, "that says a man
Can't love a dog!"

The children ran
Ahead of Jesus as he strode
Toward Jacob's Inn. The stony road
That led up to the inn was deep
With centuries of wear, and steep
At one point just before the door.
The Lord knocked once then twice before
He heard an old man's voice, "‘Round back!"
It called. So Jesus took the track
That led around the inn. The old
Man leaned back in his chair and told
The dog to never mind. "Ain't had
No one to tend the door, my lad,
For thirty years. I'm sorry for
The inconvenience to your sore
Feet. The road to Jerusalem
Is hard ain't it? Don't mind old Shem.
He's harmless like his dad. Won't bite
A Roman soldier in the night.
Sit down." And Jacob waved the stump
Of his right arm. "We're in a slump
Right now. Got lots of time to think
And talk. Come, sit and have a drink.
From Jacob's well!" he laughed. "You own
The inn?" The Lord inquired. "On loan,
You'd better say. God owns the inn."

At that the Lord knew they were kin,
And ventured on: "Do you recall
The tax when Caesar said to all
The world that each must be enrolled?"
Old Jacob winced, "Are north winds cold?
Are deserts dry? Do fishes swim
And ravens fly? I do. A grim
And awful year it was for me.
Why do you ask?" "I have a debt
To pay, and I must see how much.

Why do you say that it was such
A grim and awful year?" He raised
The stump of his right arm, "So dazed,
Young man, I didn't know I'd lost
My arm. Do you know what it cost
For me to house the Son of God?"

The old man took his cedar rod
And swept it ‘round the place: "Empty.
For thirty years alone, you see?
Old Jacob, poor old Jacob runs
It with one arm, a dog and no sons.
But I had sons . . . once. Joseph was
My firstborn. He was small because
His mother was so sick. When he
Turned three the Lord was good to me
And Rachel, and our baby Ben
Was born, the very fortnight when
The blessed family arrived.
And Rachel's gracious heart contrived
A way for them to stay—there in
That very stall. The man was thin
And tired. You look a lot like him."
But Jesus said, "Why was it grim?"
"We got a reputation here
That night. Nothing at all to fear
In that we thought. It was of God.
But in one year the slaughter squad
From Herod came. And where do you
Suppose they started? Not a clue!
We didn't have a clue what they
Had come to do. No time to pray,
No time to run, no time to get
Poor Joseph off the street and let
Him say good-bye to Ben or me
Or Rachel. Only time to see
A lifted spear smash through his spine
And chest. He stumbled to the sign
That welcomed strangers to the place,
And looked with panic at my face,
As if to ask what he had done.
Young man, you ever lost a son?"

The tears streamed down the Savior's cheek,
He shook his head, but couldn't speak.
"Before I found the breath to scream
I heard the words, a horrid dream:
‘Kill every child who's two or less.
Spare not for aught, nor make excess.
Let this one be the oldest here
And if you count your own life dear,
Let none escape.' I had no sword
No weapon in my house, but Lord,
I had my hands, and I would save
The son of my right hand . . . So brave,
O Rachel was so brave! Her hands
Were like a thousand iron bands
Around the boy. She wouldn't let
Him go and so her own back met
With every thrust and blow. I lost
My arm, my wife, my sons—the cost
For housing the Messiah here.
Why would he simply disappear
And never come to help?"

They sat
In silence. Jacob wondered at
The stranger's tears.
"I am the boy
That Herod wanted to destroy.
You gave my parents room to give
Me life, and then God let me live,
And took your wife. Ask me not why
The one should live, another die.

God's ways are high, and you will know
In time. But I have come to show
You what the Lord prepared the night
You made a place for heaven's light.
In two weeks they will crucify
My flesh. But mark this, Jacob, I
Will rise in three days from the dead,
And place my foot upon the head
Of him who has the power of death,
And I will raise with life and breath
Your wife and Ben and Joseph too
And give them, Jacob, back to you
With everything the world can store,
And you will reign for evermore."

A Blessed Christmas to all.

Barry Morris
12-25-2012, 10:36 AM
Very good, Blue.

Best wishes to all!!

Barry Morris
12-31-2012, 08:07 PM
Hope everyone had a Jesus-free commercialized holiday, filled with copious amounts of booze.

Had all the booze I wanted.

You DO know that the word "holiday" derives from "holy day" do you not??

Merry Christmas, and I trust you celebrated it just like we do.

And a Happy New Year to you and yours!!

The Voice
12-31-2012, 08:21 PM
Hope everyone had a Jesus-free commercialized holiday, filled with copious amounts of booze.

Happy Pagan Solstice Tree Festival(Hi-Jacked by the Christians) to you My Friend.

Bluesky
01-01-2013, 12:18 AM
Happy Pagan Solstice Tree Festival(Hi-Jacked by the Christians) to you My Friend.

I'd be interested in actually seeing evidence of this assertion that Christianity hijacked any pagan festival. :)

The Left Sock
01-01-2013, 08:17 AM
Well, the fact that Jesus wasn't born in the winter is one glaring indication.

The fact that winter solstice (a major pagan occasion) happens on Dec. 21st is another indication.

The fact that people put trees inside their houses at Christmas is a dead give-away (pagans worship trees).

Garland, mistletoe, the tradition of giving flowers - all pagan nature nut stuff.

And then of course, there is Easter, with the spring solstice, the bunnies symbolizing fertility, the eggs symbolizing new life, all that good stuff.

Barry Morris
01-01-2013, 09:20 AM
Sock, if the roles were reversed, I'm very sure that you would not accept any of that as proof.

Barry Morris
01-01-2013, 09:30 AM
I find it ironic that no one has ever accused Christians of highjacking Hanukah.

Or accused pagans of highjacking Christian traditions.

The Left Sock
01-01-2013, 10:00 AM
The central symbol of pagan worship is the tree. It is their main focal point. When Christians gained power in pagan territory, the Christmas tree came into being, and is now a central part of Christmas for most Western countries.

Yeah, I would accept that as proof. There was no mention of trees having special significance to the birth of Christ anywhere in the Bible. So, where did it come from? Pagan tradition - that's where.

Barry Morris
01-01-2013, 10:18 AM
The central symbol of pagan worship is the tree. It is their main focal point. When Christians gained power in pagan territory, the Christmas tree came into being, and is now a central part of Christmas for most Western countries.

Yeah, I would accept that as proof. There was no mention of trees having special significance to the birth of Christ anywhere in the Bible. So, where did it come from? Pagan tradition - that's where.

Sure, not a big concern here. As I said, pagans have taken some Christian stuff, I'm sure it goes both ways. Of course, one of the central symbols of Christianity IS a tree and always has been.

Perceptions are interesting. Where did that tradition of an angel with a pine tree up her butt come from?? :) :) :)

The Left Sock
01-01-2013, 11:01 AM
I think you have bigger fish to fry.

Your entire theology is based on Jewish history. The Old Testament is the book of the Jews. The Jews are God's chosen people. You believe the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible, word of God. Therefore, all of this must be true.

However, the Jews themselves, the ones who wrote the book, the chosen people of God, deny that Christ was the Messiah. You rely upon their word for everything you believe, yet on this one massive point, you think they are wrong. To you, Christ was the Messiah, and the very people you rely on for all of that history, you discredit in the same breath as having blown the biggest religious call in history.

Your entire belief system is irreparably, undeniably, completely flawed in its most fundamental respect. So, given all of that, I think you have bigger things to work out, than why angels get their butts stuffed with pine needles, on the celebration of Christ's birthday, which is only about a half-year off the mark, from the actual date.

Barry Morris
01-01-2013, 12:33 PM
I think you have bigger fish to fry.

Your entire theology is based on Jewish history. The Old Testament is the book of the Jews. The Jews are God's chosen people. You believe the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible, word of God. Therefore, all of this must be true.

However, the Jews themselves, the ones who wrote the book, the chosen people of God, deny that Christ was the Messiah. You rely upon their word for everything you believe, yet on this one massive point, you think they are wrong. To you, Christ was the Messiah, and the very people you rely on for all of that history, you discredit in the same breath as having blown the biggest religious call in history.

Your entire belief system is irreparably, undeniably, completely flawed in its most fundamental respect. So, given all of that, I think you have bigger things to work out, than why angels get their butts stuffed with pine needles, on the celebration of Christ's birthday, which is only about a half-year off the mark, from the actual date.

Oh, I don't think it's as bad as all that. Christmas, after all, is Christs Mass, originally one of the Sundays of the church calendar, not necessarily celebrating Christs birthday, I don't think. From biblical evidence, He may have been born sometime in the spring, or possibly October. And if you really want to be picky, even our year is now recognized to be out of whack, His actual birth believed to be between 6 and 4 BC.

Our entire theology is hardly based on the Old Testament. Certainly some is, but even in the OT please note that the Messiah does not appear to be welcomed, and His death appears to be predicted. The most important aspect of our theology would be the resurrection of Christ, and that is pretty much New Testament.

So, I would have to say YOUR entire belief system is irreparably, undeniably, completely flawed in its most fundamental respect!!! :) :) :)

Bluesky
01-01-2013, 01:08 PM
Well, the fact that Jesus wasn't born in the winter is one glaring indication.

The fact that winter solstice (a major pagan occasion) happens on Dec. 21st is another indication.

The fact that people put trees inside their houses at Christmas is a dead give-away (pagans worship trees).

Garland, mistletoe, the tradition of giving flowers - all pagan nature nut stuff.

And then of course, there is Easter, with the spring solstice, the bunnies symbolizing fertility, the eggs symbolizing new life, all that good stuff.

We do not know that Jesus was not born in the winter.

The rest is all circumstantial. What I meant by evidence is documentation, not an exercise in guilt by association.

Bluesky
01-01-2013, 01:16 PM
The central symbol of pagan worship is the tree. It is their main focal point. When Christians gained power in pagan territory, the Christmas tree came into being, and is now a central part of Christmas for most Western countries.

Yeah, I would accept that as proof. There was no mention of trees having special significance to the birth of Christ anywhere in the Bible. So, where did it come from? Pagan tradition - that's where.

No, not of the birth of Christ. BUt the death of Christ has been linked to the tree for a long time, as a metaphor. And the significance of the tree actually begins with Biblical history, where the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life are quite significant. It is easy to deduce from that that the real meaning of those trees have been supplanted by paganism, and throughout the Old Testament, trees (particularly in high places) become locations for shrines and idols.

Bluesky
01-01-2013, 01:22 PM
And then of course, there is Easter, with the spring solstice, the bunnies symbolizing fertility, the eggs symbolizing new life, all that good stuff.

Easter is, of course, based on historical events linked to the Passover feast. If anything, the pagans hijacked Easter by replacing the resurrected Christ with the bunny rabbit in the same way that Santa Claus becomes a replacement for Christ himself.

Bluesky
01-01-2013, 01:34 PM
And here is one theory of the date Jesus' birth.

In Luke 1:10, there is a large number of people at the temple in Jerusalem. This is the event where the father of John the Baptizer's miraculous birth was announced by an angel to his father, Zachariah. If this was the feast of tabernacles, the date can be pinned down. This event, which runs from the end of September to October 5 in 6 BC. This date would have overlapped the Division of Abijah's service, which ran from October 3-10, 6 BC, according to one author, citing Jewish and Roman histories.
Jesus was miraculously conceived during the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy (Zachriah's wife- Lk 1:26). Mary went to visit Elizabeth (her cousin), stayed three months and left before John was born. Jesus was thus conceived about five and a half months after John.
If our assumptions are correct, the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy began about March 10, 5 BC, and the middle of that lunar month was about March 25. This is the traditional day for the Annunciation, or conception of Jesus.

Nine months later was the middle to the end of December 5 BC.

This is a plausible theory. Quite possible. But not a slam dunk.

I suspect that no matter what date we give the birth of Jesus, the skeptics (ar the ANTI-Christians) would still find some way of trying to make it look like Christianity was one big copy cat religion. Sort of like what Tom Harpur did years ago, and who has been debunked pretty soundly since.