Dec 21, 2009

The Christmas Story!

Nativity scene, Christmas scene, Christmas, Holidays
Merry Christmas!

    Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of the Christ. The holiday was established officially by the Church in AD 354 using the date of Dec 25 as the day in which to celebrate the most holy of days the birth of Christ. It is unknown exactly what day Jesus was born and whether in winter or another season is debatable but according to tradition handed down to us we celebrate this holy day in the winter.

"We also know that some Christians had been identifying December 25th as Jesus' birthday at least a century and a half before this time. Around A.D. 206, St. Hippolytus of Rome wrote in his Commentary on Daniel that: "The first coming of our Lord, that in the flesh, in which he was born at Bethlehem, took place eight days before the kalends of January." In ancient Roman time reckoning, the kalends was the first day of the month, and if you count back eight days from January 1, you arrive at December 25."  (For more information read: 7 Top Myths About Christmas by Jimmy Akin Secret Info Club jimmyakin.com)

Taylor Marshall also has some wonderful insights into the day of Christmas in God's Birthday.

For Christians Christmas, which also bears the name of Christ is the beginning of Christianity, truth and pure love! The word Christmas in Middle English is Christemasse, from Old English Cristes mæsse, literally, Christ's mass. On this day we remember what God has done for us and how much he loves us, he has given us a son.

Isaiah 9:6 sums it up well for us...

"For there has been a child born to us there has been a son given to us and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulders and his name will be called wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father. Prince of Peace."

The Nativity Story

It came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary his wife who was pregnant. 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.

There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, and the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were afraid. The angel said unto them, Fear not for 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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

This shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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. And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. They went with haste, and found the babe lying in a manger and worshiped him, they brought him gifts fit for a King, Gold Frankincense and Myrrh.

When they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told to them concerning this child and all who heard it wondered at those things which were told to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart, and the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

You can read the story from scripture in Luke 2 and Matt 1...


Gifts Fit For A King

GOLD: This carries obvious significance. It's precious and worthy across all cultures and times. It's a gift fit for royalty. It says to the Christ child, You will be a King!

FRANKINCENSE: Frankincense has been touted for its medicinal and soothing properties. Herbalists say it is calming, restorative, gently clarifying, and meditative. Frankincense oil is thought to have stimulating, toning, and warming properties. The ancient world used it for treating depression. We recognize the word incense in its name. Ancient people burned frankincense, believing it to carry their prayers to heaven. Its use as incense illustrates Christ's role as our Priest.

MYRRH: This is perhaps the most mysterious of the Gifts. It is a resin produced by a small, tough, scraggly tree that grows in semi-desert regions of North Africa and the Red Sea. Myrrh is an Arabic word for bitter, and it is considered a wound healer because of its strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calling it mo yao, the Chinese used it for centuries to treat wounds, bruises and bleeding and to relieve painful swelling. The Egyptians made it famous in Biblical times, having acquired myrrh about the fifteenth century B.C. from Africa where cammiphora trees were abundant. It was used in incense, perfumes and holy ointments and also medicinally as recorded in the Ebers Papyrus. But its most notable use to them was that of an embalming material, used in Egyptian mummies. As an embalming ointment it signified that He was born to Die for the world. In fact, Myrrh was one of the burial spices of Jesus (John 19:39).

Christmas is a time when we can soon start the new year hopefully with a greater appreciation for each other. Christ teaches us about love and leads us to our family in heaven, and teaches us to love and respect our families on earth. With this I say please do not hold grudges towards one another, place problems in the past where they belong this is a new day and soon a new year. The past is gone, tomorrow does not exist yet, all we have is today, and this very moment, use it wisely, be grateful for all the things you have even if you feel it is not much!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Also check out:

God's Birthday

The Hanukkah Story

2 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. it is always good to read the Christmas Story and to learn about the three gifts brought by the wise men.

I love your picture - the light surrounding baby Jesus is quite extraordinarily well painted and shown in the picture.

Have a very happy Christmas, with Christian remembrances, and may we all bring some small peace on this earth to all men.

Merry Times! - to the whole family
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Short Poems said...

Hi Joanne ....Great Christmas story, I enjoyed reading it!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Hugs
Marinela x