Introduction to The Magic of Christmas

The magic of Christmas is something we experience individually in the development of our own personal relationship with our Saviour, with those we love as we glow in an increase of our shared love, and with those to whom we reach out and touch with the love of Jesus Christ. It is time to hear again the words called out by John the Baptist, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. ... Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  It is a time of cleansing and reordering in preparation for His coming. He came to the world. We as individuals need to receive him. Our hearts need to be open, and not like the inn in Bethlehem, too full with other guests to give Him shelter.

Let not our hearts be busy inns,
That have no room for Thee,
But cradles for the living Christ
And His nativity.

 Still driven by a thousand cares
The pilgrims come and go;
The hurried caravans press on;
The inns are crowded so!

Oh, lest we starve, and lest we die,
In our stupidity,
Come, Holy Child, within and share
Our hospitality.

Let not our hearts be busy inns,
That have no room for thee,
But cradles for the living Christ
And His nativity.

 Ralph Spalding Cushman

 

So, let Him be reborn anew in you, and truly the Kingdom of Heaven will be at hand, for the kingdom of Heaven will be within you. Jesus urged us to learn of Him that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.

Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest in your souls.

Have you pondered the thought that He was born in a manger for you? That throughout His life, He chose to live in humble circumstances so that He might reach you more easily? Picture him washing the feet of the apostles. As you view His life, is it not clear that He will come wherever you are? Meet you in whatever circumstances in which you find yourself? That if you truly seek him, He is ready to serve you? That you can't ever be too lowly for His loving care?

As the spirit of Christ grows within you, celebrate Him, appreciate Him, and make His way straight. Help Him enter the hearts of other children of God.  Bear witness of His divinity to the world around you. Take that special care for one another that He would want. That's the substance of celebrating Christmas. Each of us can celebrate this Christmas season in its most perfect ways whatever our position and circumstances. The rewards are great, even the Kingdom of Heaven.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles ...

As a family, we have prepared a list of some ideas you may wish to consider as you plan for this Christmas season. We hope they are helpful. We wish you a very special Merry Christmas.


Merry Christmas

Of all people on earth, we can most deeply say and appreciate the meaning of Merry Christmas. The word Christmas refers to Christ and mass (or the Lord's supper). That is the ordinance we have the privilege of participating in each week. The Greek equivalent was the word Eucharist, which translated means going back to good favor or grace Christmas, then, means going back to full favor with Jesus Christ. Is that not what we do when we partake of the sacrament? All of the scriptures from the beginning of this world point to this ordinance and the sacrifice and gift of Jesus Christ that makes it possible.

Over and over again, through the years and hundreds of years, sacrifices were made as all of God's people looked forward to the time of that great sacrifice when the Messiah would come to redeem his people. It seemed that no opportunity was missed to teach and remind His people of the importance of that which was to come. When the children of Israel were plagued in the desert by serpents, it tells us in Numbers 21:8-9 that:

 ...The Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. 

Centuries later John wrote in John 3:45

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

  And then we read in verses 16 and 17 these beautiful words:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

To teach Abraham, and through him us, what that love meant, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son. Can you feel even now what dread Abraham felt? The hand of Abraham was stopped at the last moment, and his son was spared, but Our Heavenly Father so loved the world, and Jesus so loved us, His sacrifice was carried through and His gift to us was completed.

During this season we say to each other, Merry Christmas. The word Merry in Old English meant a special kind of cheer. A cheer based on courage and faith. The type of joy that the angel announced to that small group of shepherds in Bethlehem:

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy ...

Have you ever noticed there is a comma in the title of the song, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen?  It is between Merry and Gentlemen. It is not Merry Gentlemen, it is God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen.  We could miss so much of the beauty of that song if we leave out the comma. A better reading would be:

God give you joyful faith, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
Oh! tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy;
Oh! tidings of comfort and joy.

 As written in James 5:13

 Is any merry?  Let him sing psalms.

And so lovely expressed by Paul in Ephesians 5:18-19

 ... be filled with the spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

As we shake each other's hand and wish each other a Merry Christmas, we are in its deepest meaning saying, Have positive courage and joyful faith in your being reconciled in good favor with Jesus Christ. Isn't that a wonderful and special thing to be able to say to each other? Have joyful faith in your being reconciled in good favor with Jesus Christ.  Let us say it to each other often.   Merry Christmas!

As our family’s gift to you we have gathered and designed 100 traditions and activities that can help you and your family celebrate the spirit of Christ during the Christmas season and throughout the year. We have included directions, pictures, scriptures, quotations, and stories to the traditions and activities to enrich your experience.