Friday, December 24, 2010

Why We Celebrate

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 this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

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 Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

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 Saviour, 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.

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 even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told 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.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
~ Luke 2:1-35

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Local Event

"And He shall reign forever and ever." ~ George Frideric Handel

I recently posted the following video on my Facebook page, and added that I would like to get one of these flash mob things going here locally.

While I procrastinated, someone else acted, and last night, right here in the Fredericksburg area, nine area choirs assembled in the food court at Spotsylvania's Towne Centre Mall and entertained weary Christmas shoppers with the most majestic piece of music ever composed:

According to our local newspaper, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, the "mob" had alerted the local Television stations and newspaper to their intentions, so I am a bit surprised that the videographer was apparently unprepared, because the video begins a couple of bars after the instrumental introduction of the piece.

Other than that, it plays well. I only wish I had known about it beforehand. I was off work when it started, and I could have been there, and I certainly would have participated.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

About The Secularization Of Christmas

Last year, I wrote this post about the secularization of Christmas. This year, I am adding a short addendum:

Our local Wal-Mart began playing Christmas music over the PA system before Thanksgiving this year, yet none of the songs played are of a religious nature. How can we celebrate Christmas with absolutely no mention at all of the reason we celebrate?

I know I risk sounding redundant by mentioning this again this year, but the problem is worsening.

Atheists and secularists are trying, with no small amount of success, to remove any connection with Jesus Christ from the traditional celebration of His birth.

I would like to point out that Christians don't object to other cultures and religions celebrating their holy days in the way they see fit. You never hear of Christian groups objecting to the celebration by other religions and cultures of Kwanzaa or Ramadan.

I have expressed consternation with the blatant attempts to stifle all connections of the Christmas holy day with Christianity before.

So. Although there is ample evidence to suggest Christmas is indeed being targeted by secularists and atheists, the significance of Christ's birth, life, death, and subsequent resurrection will not be erased.

In the end, they will all realize their folly, as God has promised us, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." ~ Philippians 2: 10-11

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good Company

"When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half." ~ Gracie Allen

Actually, in my case, I understand I didn't talk for about 4 years. I've been making up for it ever since.

Famous people born on this day, December 5th:

Martin Van Buren, George Armstrong Custer, Walt Disney, Strom Thurmond, Little Richard, Jim Messina, Morgan Brittany, Art Monk, Frankie Muniz.

Not so famous: Me

I've been perusing Facebook this morning. I have received several "Happy Birthday" messages from my Facebook friends.

Because of Facebook, I now have more friends than I've ever had at any given time during my 59 years on this planet.

I don't even know about 90% of them

Puts things in it's proper perspective now, doesn't it?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Good Quote

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein