JESUS: THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!
My first Christmas after becoming born-again was so exciting as I would hear songs in the stores about my Savior, Jesus! That was 28 years ago and today there is an on-going battle in America to remove Christ out of Christmas, to take God out of Schools, and to rewrite the history of our Christian-Judeo heritage. This has been happening here as well as I see little if any signs of Baby Jesus anywhere this time of year. There are lots of colored blinking lights, lots of Santa Clauses, and lots of holiday markets, but sadly I haven't seen one nativity scene anywhere in Berlin, Germany! In the USA, according to the Herald Tribune, parents Ben and Sherry Burkhart rallied against the policy at their child’s elementary school to evict Jesus and Christmas out of schools. They believed that if students can sing and celebrate other holidays such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, students should be able to sing and celebrate Jesus as well. Sherry Burkhart summed up the sentiment of most Americans by saying, “I’m just tired of Christianity being politically incorrect.” (link Merry What? The Fight over Keeping Christ in Christmas!). Now read what REALLY happened over 2000 years ago...
The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2)
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!" Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors." When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said. MAY YOU HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS!