What Is Christmas?

What is Christmas?  So many Christmas Eve’s of quietness and hearing these words from Luke 21,7-14, And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
          One day in school, I learned Jesus’ birth is counted with B.C. and A.D. Knowing Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament many years before his birth; I wondered how the prophets knew of His coming.  How little I knew then about the faithfulness of God the Father. Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.  Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
            Talk about God’s long-range plans and the expectation of the birth of the Christ Child, the Messiah. It has been many generations since Jesus was born on earth.  Carolyn Murray’s poem cuts through the tinsel and man-made lights and tells of the Light of the World, Jesus.  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46
         God blessed Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. This prophecy was fulfilled – Acts 3:25-26.   Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
         Isaac in Genesis 17:19, fulfilled in Romans 9:7; Jacob in Genesis 28:14, fulfilled in Luke 3:34; and Judah (Israel) in Genesis 49:10, fulfilled in Luke 3:33 testify to God’s faithfulness over the ages.
         Take away the Christmas tree, the gifts, the lights and tinsel, and the ornate decorations, we quickly learn what Christmas is.  Christmas is the celebration in our hearts of expecting the birth of love in our hearts by worshiping the gift God sent. Jesus is our gift from God sent with the promise of eternal hope and joy when we accept Jesus as our Lord.  Composers have written oratorios to sing in celebration of the birth of Jesus, Yet, the simple song, “Jesus Loves Me” sung by a child delights the heart.  Delicious feasts at Christmas may fill our stomachs and yet our hearts fill to overflowing through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control.  
         God blesses us with the Joy of Christ of Christmas, despite the absence of some family members and the lack of money for exorbitant gifts.  He is the real reason for our being!
What is Christmas?
If you take away the tinsel,
And you take away the toys,
If you take away the Christmas tree,
Where are the Christmas joys?
If you turn off all the colored lights,
Throw away the candy canes,
If you take down all the stockings,
Will Christmas come again?
If you take away the bustle,
The pine scent and the noise,
If you never wrapped a present,
What of all the girls and boys?
Yet, we invented all of that.
It’s a poor imitation of
The reason for the holiday
God’s gift of Divine Love.
See the Light, that hovers tenderly
‘Round the Mother and the Child?
Do you hear her crooning softly
To the Babe, so meek and mild?
Without the lights, without the tree
Without all, we’re used to seeing,
There’s still the CHRIST of Christmas…
         The real reason for our BEING!

                           Carolyn Murray

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